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Summer Travel Tips for You and Your Pets

Katie Woolsey from The Escondido Humane Society shares her travel tips, learned from hittin' the road with her dog Blue.

Photo by Getty Images.
Photo by Getty Images.

By Katie Woolsey, The Escondido Humane Society

My family and I are preparing for a trip to Lake Havasu in three weeks, and of course my dog Blue is included in those travel plans. He has been making our river trips since the first summer we had him, and he has just as much fun as the people do.

My own trip inspired this week’s column, which will discuss tips and tricks that will keep your pets safe and comfortable if you are planning to take them on your travels. It’s definitely timely, since many families make plans during the summer months that include their pets.

Before you go:

Schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to make sure your pet is up-to-date on all vaccinations and that you have any medications they might need. Some states require rabies vaccination records at interstate crossings, so ask your vet to print them out for you before you leave.

If you haven’t done so already, microchip your pet and make sure it is registered with your contact information. It is always a good idea for your pet to wear an ID tag with your home address and phone number, but you might want to consider making a special travel tag with your cell phone, destination phone number and other contact information.

Just like we have certain items we need to pack for ourselves, there are specific things that should go into your pet’s travel kit. Don’t forget their medical records, food, bowl, leash, plastic bags, grooming supplies, medication and first-aid kit, and throw in their favorite toy or pillow to give them a sense of familiarity.

Research ahead of time to find pet-friendly hotels at each of your destinations. Most hotels set their own policies, so call ahead and ask if there are any size or breed restrictions or if they charge an extra fee.

On the road:

Always secure your pet in the car, whether it’s a carrier or safety harness and seat belt. I have to admit that I’m guilty of letting Blue stick his head out the window, but it can be dangerous because of flying objects. Cats should always be in a carrier.

Never, ever leave your dog alone in the car. Even with the windows down, your vehicle can reach deadly temperatures in a matter of minutes.

Bring along plenty of your own bottled water or tap water from home. Drinking water they are not used to could result in an upset tummy.

If you are flying:

I personally would never consider flying with Blue, but I know that sometimes it’s unavoidable. The ASPCA offers great tips on their website here.

Do you have any fun summer travel plans with your pet? Let us know in the comments!

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