Vacationing with your pet

The following are a few tips that might help keep your pet safe sound when you take your companion on vacation. You never know what might happen, no matter how careful you are, there are sometimes things you can't control. So the best advice: be prepared.

  • Have a proper identification tag affixed to your pet's collar.

  • Stick a piece of adhesive tape to your pet's collar with your name, local address and phone number written in ink.

  • Keep a current photograph of your pet with you.

  • Ask your local vet for a copy of your pet's health and shot records before traveling.

  • Assume that every community has a leash-lawn: clean up after your pet.

If your pet gets lost

  • Don't hesitate. The minute you realize your pet is missing, start looking.

  • Start a list of people and organizations that you can contact. Take notes of specific people that you talk to.

  • Call the local animal shelters and animal control centers.

  • Walk and drive through the area where you're staying.

  • Call local veterinarians.

  • Call local radio stations.

  • Make lost pet flyers and distribute.

  • Use the local newspapers

  • Call area animal shelters daily and visit in person every 3 days

  • Don't give up.

When you do find your pet, be sure to notify everyone who helped in your search.

Safe Traveling

Train your dog from an early age to travel with you by car. Don't let your dog have free roam in the vehicle. Not only is this extremely dangerous for your dog, but it can cause catastrophic events for everyone. Miniature's can be transported in a cat carrier securely belted in the back seat. Larger dogs can be strapped into the back seat with a special canine seat belt that, like a child's harness, attaches to the standard seat belt anchors. You can also restrict your dog to the rear of an SUV behind a sturdy, custom-made dog grille, or secured in a good-sized wire cage.

Is your pet physically fit for travel? Your vet can advise you best, especially if you have a senior dog. Bring supplies to keep your senior pet comfortable, such as warm bedding and any medications your pet may require while traveling.

Heatstroke is among the most common causes of preventable deaths in dogs. Since a dog cannot sweat other than through its feet, excess body heat can be reduced only by panting. In hot conditions, the body temperature rises swiftly and sometimes within minutes. If there is no escape, a dog can die. Never leave your dog in your car in warm or sunny weather, even when parked in the shade or with the window slightly opened.

Take frequent rest stops so that you and your pet can stretch your legs and take a bathroom break. Pets have been known to escape out the car door, so be sure he is securely restrained before opening the door. Pets can become dehydrated, just like we can. Keep a supply of cool water and a dish in the car. You can even freeze small containers of water for travel.

Make lodging plans in advance. It can be a challenge to find rentals that will accept your pet, particularly at the last moment.

Take responsibility for any damages your pet does. Accidents can happen even with the most well-behaved pet. Always pick up after your dog. Bring along your own supply of bags for this purpose.

Read also: Car Sickness