Traveling with your pet
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Safety tips for drivers taking their pets on the road
[August 29, 2007]
MERIDEN, Conn. -- Labor Day
weekend signals the end of vacation season, and many dogs and cats
will be joining their owners for a final summer getaway. Although
car trips can be stressful for many household pets, experts agree
that they do not have to be if drivers take some simple precautions.
"There are more than 135 million household dogs and cats in the
nation," said Ray Palermo, director of public relations for Response
Insurance, a national car insurer. "They're members of the family
and when we take a driving vacation, they are often along for the
ride. Unfortunately, too many drivers do not take the time to
prepare them for long trips." Palermo suggested several ways to help
ensure a safe driving experience.
If the pet is not
used to car trips, try a few test runs to help acclimate them
for the ride. Spending time in the car while parked and short
drives to nearby destinations are an easy start.
Cats should be
kept in a carrier and dogs should be held in a restraining
harness. This will help stabilize your pet if there is a sudden
movement or crash.
Feed your pet a
little less than you would normally. Since too much water can
upset their stomachs on the road, limit water by providing ice
to chew on. Don't forget to pack some toys and any other
favorite items or bedding.
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When traveling to
places your pet is not familiar with, it is particularly
important to have a collar with an ID tag that includes both
your permanent and vacation addresses and phone numbers. Bring a
photo of your pet in the event you need to put up "Lost Pet"
posters. Many veterinarians and animal welfare organizations
also offer microchip identification implants.
Dogs like to stick
their heads out of the car window, but this is very unsafe.
Small stones and debris become dangerous projectiles at highway
Never leave your
pet in a car in warm or hot weather. Even with windows open, or
parked in the shade, interior temperatures can quickly rise to
Pack a first-aid
kit with tweezers and alcohol for tick removal, cloth bandages,
and topical antiseptic.
More information on this and other safety topics is available at
[Text from file received from