Tuesday, December 18, 2007

On the Road, Again

Planning on driving home for the holidays? Sometimes it can be difficult for your pet during these long road trips. I am very fortunate to have a dog who is lulled to sleep right away by the sound of a car. We traveled 18 hours to Massachusetts without any problems. Here are a few tips from the ASPCA to make things safe and easier for your dog.

*Get your dog geared up for a long trip by taking him on a series of short drives first, gradually lengthening time spent in the car.

*Your dog’s travel-feeding schedule should start with a light meal three to four hours prior to departure. Don’t feed him in a moving vehicle—even if it is a long drive.

*Never leave your dog 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 dog to freeze to death.

*What in your dog’s traveling kit? In addition to travel papers, food, bowl, leash, a waste scoop, plastic bags, grooming supplies, medication and a pet first-aid kit, pack a favorite toy or pillow to give your dog a sense of familiarity.

*Make sure your dog wears a collar with an ID 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. Canines should wear flat (never choke!) collars, please.

*Traveling across state lines? Bring along your pet’s rabies vaccination record, as some states requires this proof at certain interstate crossings. While this generally isn’t a problem, it’s always smart to be on the safe side.
*Make sure you bring enough water for your dog. Drinking water from an area he’s not used to could result in tummy upset for your pet.

*If you travel frequently with your dog, you may want to invest in rubberized floor liners and waterproof seat covers, available at auto product retailers.

For more on traveling with your pet, check out our newest issue of LCD, available now at any of our local distribution points.

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