RW PETS: Make Holiday Travel Safe for Your Pet
By Mark Forrest Patrick, CDT VA
The holiday season is quickly approaching, if travel with your pet is included plan ahead. Bring along a supply of food and water from your home. Your pet may not be willing to drink water if it tastes differently from the water at home. If your pet requires medication, be sure to bring enough to last the entire trip.
Ensure your pet has proper identification, a tag on his collar and for additional security a micro-chip is strongly recommended. Be sure to bring a sturdy leash and collar, the collar should also contain the rabies identification. In case your pet becomes lost bring a picture of your pet with you as a form of identification.
Transporting your pet in a crate in the car is the best way to keep your pet safe. A crate is also a great idea for nights in a hotel room or when visiting friends. If you pet is crate trained, keep in mind this is their safe place and a place that they are familiar with. Be sure the crate is large enough for them to stand, turn around and lie down. The crate should have handles, leak proof bottom and ventilation on all sides. The crate should also be labeled LIVE ANIMALS on all four sides with the owner’s information (traveling destination and home destination.) Place a comfortable mat and your pet’s toy inside the crate. Be sure the toy is durable and the pet is not able to destroy it or choke on the item.
When booking your hotel reservation, check in advance if they allow pets. If they do allow pets be respectful of the guests. Do not leave your pet in the room for long periods of time, keep your pet quiet. Ask the property management where they prefer you walk your pet to eliminate. Be sure to bring bags with you to clean up.
When traveling by car, it is a good idea for your pet to travel on an empty stomach to avoid car sickness. Be sure your pet has plenty of water and plan to make stops for your pet to eliminate along the way. If you are traveling during the day light hours keep your pet out of the direct sun and provide plenty of ventilation. Do not allow your pet to ride with his/her head out the window of the vehicle, this may cause eye injuries. Never leave your dog unattended in the vehicle, take shifts when you are at a rest stop.
If you are traveling on an airline check with the airline, several airlines require a health certificate from the veterinarian along with proof of vaccinations. There are also stipulations on the number of animals that can be on any given flight along with the size of the carrier. If you are planning on placing your pet under the seat there are size stipulations and reservations must be made ahead with the airline. The carrier must be airline approved to be placed into the cargo area. When traveling in hot and cold climates some airlines will not transport pets.
If you are planning to travel by train leave your pet home, unfortunately dogs are not permitted on Amtrak trains or buses with the exception of service dogs.
If you are traveling on a cruise be sure to check with the cruise liner. Some of the cruise ships do cater to our canine companions and will accommodate your pet needs.
Taking the time to plan ahead will help you and your pet have a safe and enjoyable trip. Happy Holiday’s from Tuxedo’s K9 Training Camp, Inc.
Mark Forrest Patrick, CDT VA is the Owner of Tuxedo’s K9 Training Camp, Inc. Visit us at www.tuxedosk9.com