Including your family pet in holiday travel plans

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The holidays are fast approaching. For most of us the holidays mean one thing… traveling. With all this upcoming traveling how do include your furry family members?

START SMALL
Try to keep car rides relatively short at first. Working your way into longer road trips. Some pets feel better if they can see outside, but others may prefer to keep away from the window. Talk to your veterinarian if your pet experiences carsickness or increased anxiety on car rides. For small pets consider traveling with them in a crate, making sure to safely secure them in the foot well behind the passenger seat. Larger breed dogs can also be crated during travel.

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PROPER IDENTIFICATION
Whenever you’re taking your pet outside their normal environment there is a chance of them running off. Always make sure your pet has an ID tag or microchip. You should always carry updated records indicating current vaccinations and an updated photo in case they get lost. Make sure your name, phone number, and e-mail are clearly labeled on the carrier (if using).

THE NECESSITIES
Depending on the length of your trip, your pet may need to eat or drink. Make sure you feed them as soon as your arrive at your destination, or stop along the way to let your pet drink some water and have a snack. For long road trips your dog or cat may need to take a potty break. Don’t forget a litter box for your feline friend and don’t forget clean-up bags! Bedding, blankets, and toys from home may provide some comfort and familiarity when traveling. Don’t forget any medication your pet may be taking and make sure they have had heartworm prevention and flea prevention that month. Different states have different types of climate and your pet may be at an increased risk for heartworm disease, fleas, or tick borne illnesses depending on where you are going.

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GOING ON A PLANE?
If you plan on flying with your pet, be sure to contact the airline about its pet policies. Only pets in good health and behavior can fly. Make sure to bring current medical and vaccination records. Airlines do require that pets be vaccinated against Rabies and most airlines require a current (within 10 days) health exam and certificate from your veterinarian. If your dog or cat is allowed to fly in- cabin, be sure to purchase a carrier case that meets federal and airline standards. To avoid temperature extremes, make sure to fly in the evening during the warmer months and during the daytime in colder months.

NEED TO STAY AT A HOTEL?
Check out Bring Fido (www.BringFido.com) and enjoy an endless resource of dog-friendly hotels, restaurants and activities in popular travel destinations. A lot of hotel chains are dog friendly as well. Some hotels have stay limitations. Note that some hotels don’t allow you to leave your dog in the room without supervision, take this into consideration when booking your travel.
Always remember, life isn’t about where you go, but who you go with.

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