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Old 01-30-2004, 05:00 PM
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Post Tips for Traveling with your pets

Traveling with a pet can be one of life's great joys. If you don't plan well, however, it can also mean misery and discomfort for you, your pet or both. Keep these handy tips in mind when traveling with animals so everyone enjoys the journey.

The Convention and Visitors Bureau in most states will be happy to send you a listing of pet friendly lodgings. As more people take to the road with their pets, this is becoming a popular option for hotels to offer.
In order to avoid surprises, call ahead and find out if there are extra charges for your pet to stay in your hotel room.

Make sure your pet is wearing identification. Include the pet's name, your name and address and a phone number to call. I always add "call collect and reward" with my animal's ID tags. In the case of a purebred dog or cat that might be at risk for theft, try adding the words "needs medicine" to their ID tags (whether or not the pet actually does need medicine). The rationale is that someone is less likely to steal an animal that might be sick.

Take along photos of your pet. In case of the worst scenario and your pet becomes lost, you will be able to show photos to those helping in the search.

Be sure to take some things that are familiar to your pet, such as a favorite blanket, toy as well as their regular treats to help him be comfortable in unfamiliar surroundings.

If you have the slightest doubt about your pet's health, visit the vet BEFORE leaving on a trip.
Ask your vet if they know of a vet in the area you will be traveling. Keep the telephone numbers handy.

Never, never, never leave your pet unattended in the car. It takes mere minutes for cars to turn into ovens. Your pet cannot take the heat!

Pets tend to drink more water while traveling, so be sure to have plenty available.

Check pet shops for travel water bowls that have a lid that prevents spilling while moving.
Filling said bowl or a small cooler with ice will keep your pet with a steady water supply while the ice melts.
Since pets tend to drink more while traveling, it's important to take plenty of litter when traveling with your cat.
For familiarity's sake, use the same litter brand as you would at home.

Pets tend to shed more when traveling, so it's a good idea to keep a lint brush handy for clothing or car seats.

If your dog or cat is not used to being on a leash and walking with someone, start getting them ready by practicing long before the trip.

Small animals can travel in kennels secured in the car, seat belts and harnesses are available for larger animals. Sudden stops can hurt animals just as much as people.

It's a good idea to carry a pet First Aid kit. Some items to include are tweezers (especially if you are going where there will be ticks), peroxide and/or alcohol, cotton swabs and cotton balls.

If your pet gets motion sickness, try to give it as much cool air as possible. Other remedies to try are ginger ale (also works for humans) or ginger candy.

Always clean up after your pet. Likewise it's a good idea to pack a supply of plastic bags.

Check with the airlines when flying. Most will allow a pet small enough to fit under the seat in front (in a kennel, of course) to fly inside the cabin with you.

Don't send your pet as cargo in hot weather, even if the airline says they will take them (and most won't).

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