Are you planning to take Fido along on a trip this summer? A lot of people choose to do that rather than leaving the family pet behind. Here are some tips to help ease the stress of traveling with your pet.
1. Get your pet geared up for a long trip by taking him on a series of short drives first, gradually lengthening time spent in the car.
2. Create a pet kit. Keep all your pet's essentials in one place. Include chew toys or a favorite toy to keep him busy, grooming supplies, medications, a waste scoop, plastic bags, a favorite blanket or pillow, and a full supply of food. Pack a pet first-aid kit, vaccination records, your vet’s number in case of an emergency, and a list of pet clinics on your route. Not a bad idea to include Benadryl in case your curious pet checks out a beehive or something. The iPhone app MyPetED electronically stores all your pet’s documents for easy retrieval on the go, so you don't have to carry a lot of paperwork.
3. Plan your pet's travel-feeding schedule. Start with a light meal three to four hours prior to departure. Don't feed your furry friend in a moving vehicle—even if it is a long drive.
4. Bring your own water. Opt for bottled water or tap water stored in plastic jugs. Drinking water from an area he's not used to could result in tummy upset for your pet.
5. Make sure your pet has sufficient identification. Be sure he is a microchipped and wears a collar with a tag imprinted with your home address, as well as a temporary travel tag with your cell phone, destination phone number and any other relevant contact information.
6. Check in advance that your destinations are pet-friendly. If you are beach bound, check restrictions and inquire whether the surf is safe for dogs. Invest in a doggie life vest. If you are in the ocean, beware of jellyfish and stingrays. If hiking is on the itinerary, keep your pooch on a short leash to avoid encounters with skunks, snakes, and painful burrs or foxtail.
Some hotels will cater to your pal with pet treats, comfy beds, free dog-sitting, grooming sessions and even canine massages. Other hotels restrict pets over a certain size or don’t permit them to be left alone in the room. Ask whether your hotel requires a deposit for pets or if you will be required to pay a non-refundable fee.
Many campgrounds are dog friendly, but don’t assume every pup in camp has good manners. Follow campground etiquette and keep your pet leashed, pick up after him, and don’t let him bark after dark. RV campgrounds often welcome pets, but some may restrict size to 10 pounds or less.
7. Keep your pets safe and secure in a well-ventilated crate or carrier. There are a variety of wire mesh, hard plastic and soft-sided carriers available. Whatever you choose, make sure it's large enough for your pet to stand, sit, lie down and turn around in. Iit's smart to get your pet used to the carrier in the comfort of your home before your trip. And please be sure to always secure the crate so it won't slide or shift in the event of a quick stop.
8. Never leave your animal alone in a parked vehicle. On a hot day, even with the windows open, a parked automobile can become a furnace in no time, and heatstroke can develop. In cold weather, a car can act as a refrigerator, holding in the cold and causing the animal to freeze to death.
9. Break often for relief and exercise. Your GPS can locate parks and rest areas along the way where you can stop every couple hours for fun and potty breaks.
10. Take your pet on a cruise! Check out this link for some fun information on including your pet on a cruise with you. http://www.iglucruise.com/blog/2013/05/24/is-it-time-to-treat-your-pet-to-a-cruise
The Golden Rule: Expect the unexpected when traveling with your pet, and pack accordingly. Always bring more water than you could ever need. Never take it for granted that the next town is there.
A kind viewer of our website added the following tip:
"I always have a sheet that I keep in my wallet and a copy in the glove box that explains that should we be in an accident and not able to give instructions or care for our pets what we would like to be done. I explain that we have pet insurance and we would like for them to receive whatever life saving care they may need. If they are not injured we beg of one of the responders to hold on to them and call the name and phone number listed on our instructions to pick them up. etc. Whatever your wishes are I think should be carried with you in writing."
Sources: www.tailsinc.com/2013/06/have-wheels-will-travel ; www.iglucruise.com/blog/2013/05/24/is-it-time-to-treat-your-pet-to-a-cruise ; www.aspca.org/pet-care/pet-care-tips/car-travel-tips.aspx
Education is the first step in pet poison prevention.
Pet owners should take the time to educate themselves on the various, sometimes unexpected, pet poisons in their environments. The Pet Poison Helpline provides an extensive list of poisonous items for pet owners to be aware of, but here are a few of the most common items seen by veterinarians:
Many people believe certain dog breed, such as huskies and malamutes, are capable of living outside all of the time because of their thick coats. However, no dog breed should be consistently left unprotected outside. According to the City of Cincinnati, when the temperature is below 20 degrees Fahrenheit or above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, a pet owner should not leave their dog outside for longer than sixty minutes without adequate shelter. For outside dogs, owners should provide a warm, dry, draft free shelter with fresh, unfrozen water. Heated water bowls are a great option to ensure consistent access to unfrozen water. Owners should also feed their outdoor dogs more during the winter because their bodies use more energy trying to keep warm. In 2016, the City of Cincinnati passed an ordinance with further restrictions and shelter guidelines for dog tethering and weather conditions, which can be found by clicking here
A common winter hazard that vets encounter consistently with cats is engine belt injuries. Cats will climb into cars to keep warm, and without knowing they’re there, people will start their cars and harm the cats. Before starting your car in the winter, it’s advised to give the car hood a few raps to make sure there are no cats cozied up inside.
Pets start an estimated 1,000 fires per year. While this isn’t a huge number, it’s easily preventable. Pet owners should identify the risks in their home and make sure they’re contained from pets. Risks to consider include, open flames such as candles, space heaters, stovetops, fireplaces, and frayed wires chewed by puppies.
Even if all fire hazards are contained from pets, there’s still always a chance of a house fire. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) , there’s a home fire reported every 86 seconds in the United States. So while the hope is that you and your pets never have to face a fire, it’s important to have a plan.
In case of a fire, pet owners should hang window clings that let firefighters know there’s a pet in the home. The ASPCA offers a free Pet Fire Safety Pack that includes a window decal. When leaving home, pet owners should know where their pets are and keep them close to exits if possible. Pet owners should also consider investing in monitored smoke detectors that alert homeowners of a fire when they’re not home and automatically dispatch firefighters.
Getting your dog microchipped is an easy and relatively inexpensive procedure that drastically increases the odds that your pet will find its way home if it’s ever lost. A microchip is a tiny chip that’s about the size of a grain of rice and contains a unique identification number. It’s injected into a pet’s skin between the shoulder blades on their back. When scanned with an electric scanner, the chip will show the unique identification number and manufacturer of the microchip. This unique identification number will be linked to the pet owner’s contact information in the microchip manufacturer’s database.
If a stranger ever finds your dog, a shelter or veterinarian can scan your pet for a microchip. Once they have the identification number and manufacturer from the chip reading, they will call the manufacturer in search of the pet owner’s contact information. Therefore, if a dog owner moves or changes their contact information, it’s extremely important for them to update the contact information associated with their pet’s microchip identification number.