Pet Holiday Travel

Dec 10, 2016

Are we there yet?
Credit LifeSupercharger (John Liu) [Flickr]

For their safety as well as your own, pets should not be allowed to roam freely in a moving vehicle.  One option is a restraint that connects to a seat belt and attaches to the pet's harness.  Your furry friend can stand or lie down, but will not distract the driver.  It will also be safer in the event of a collision.

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For many of us, ‘tis the season to travel – over the hill, through the woods and down the road to Grandma’s house. When the family gets together, that often includes our pets. The question is, what’s the best way to get our best friend to the holiday gathering?

Each airline has rules restricting which pets can fly in the passenger cabin. Generally larger animals must fly as cargo, which can be risky when the weather is extremely cold. The safest way may be in the car, with you.

It’s a good idea to make plans in advance for your road trip, especially if you will be crossing state lines. Take your pet to the veterinarian for checkup and obtain a health certificate and proof of rabies vaccination. Make sure your animal has a collar or harness with an ID tag; you might also want to have it microchipped. That will increase the chances you and your pet will be reunited should you become separated for any reason.

If you must stay overnight at a hotel or inn, make reservations well in advance. Confirm their policy on allowing pets in the room. If you are traveling with a dog, ask for a ground-level room. That will make it easier to take your friend outside to relieve itself.

When you’re packing for the trip, pack a bag for your pet, as well. Include any medications your animal will need, a toy or two, food and water bowls to use in transit, supplies like litter and a litter box and enough of your pet’s food for the duration of the trip. The food your furry friend likes may not be available in other parts of the country, so having the right food will be a familiar comfort during the trip.

Finally, the same caution for summer travel holds true in the winter. Never leave your pet alone in a parked vehicle. Cold outside temperatures can make it uncomfortable, if not dangerous to your friend’s health and well-being.

Traveling with your pet can be fun for both of you. Advance planning for your best friend’s safety and well-being will help to make the trip, and the holiday, happy and bright, when you’re speaking of pets.

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