Saturday, June 25, 2011

Summer Road Trips with Your Pet

Mustang Sally
Many people go on road trips with their pets during the summer. Pet friendly hotels are more common than ever so it can be a good idea to bring your dog or cat with you on vacation if you are worried about leaving them home.

Here are some suggestions and ideas from the Doctors and Staff at Long Beach Animal Hospital (California)
WWW.LBAH.COM to make the trip a hassle free experience.

I made a few personal edits to make this article even more relevant to the Col. Potter family. And of course, I found a new-to-me blog that looks very interesting!

Before the trip starts:
  • Get your dog or cat used to the carrier or crate they will be in during the trip.
  • Go online and find pet friendly hotels and attractions. They are increasing in number and available throughout the country.
  • Make a basic first aid kit you would use for yourself.
  • Take a list of 24 hours emergency hospitals along your route, along with the phone number of your family veterinarian; include Photocopies of medical records to expedite treatment in case of an emergency.
  • Ask your veterinarian for a recommended hospital at your destination.
  • If you pet is prone to car sickness do small rides prior to your road trip and see if this conditioning helps. Your veterinarian has tranquilizers that stop motion sickness and vomiting. Give one on a trial basis several days before the trip to see the effect and how long it lasts.
  • Get your pet micro-chipped and have a collar with ID on it at all times, including rabies information. Your phone number should also be on the ID. Bring a current photo of your pet in case it gets lost and you need to put up posters.
  • Remember that the Col. Potter Tag Program provides away from home coverage. If you are traveling with or without your pet, you can provide temporary information about where you can be contacted should your pet go missing. This could make the difference in being reunited with your pet if you are traveling with them. Having only your home information in this situation could cost huge delays in locating you. To notify us that you are going on vacation, Click Here.
  • Make sure vaccines are current because you cannot predict exposure to sick animals, and pet friendly hotels usually require them. If you are going into a poisonous snake area talk to your veterinarian about rattlesnake vaccines.
  • Bring vaccine records, including rabies, if you cross state lines. Some states require health certificates, which can be obtained from your veterinarian.
  • If your pet is on medication bring extra if feasible in case of delay in returning home.
  • Start flea products that also protect from Heartworms (spread by mosquitoes which are prevalent in much of the country in the summer) and also internal parasites (worms).

During the trip:
  • Never leave pet in a parked car even with the windows cracked open.
  • Keep the car cool with the air conditioner on, especially for the dogs that have difficulty breathing routinely (Pugs, Bulldogs, etc.).
  • Even though they seem to love it, minimize your dog hanging his head out of the window.  Flying objects (insects) and kicked up debris can injures eyes and ears.
  • Never leave pet in a parked car even with the windows cracked open.
  • Bring your own food and also water in containers. This is more convenient than trying to find it and might help minimize diarrhea or vomiting if your pet drinks water it is not used to. Bringing favorite toys.
  • If you drive in the morning give a meal the night before so they travel on a relatively empty stomach during the daytime. Adjust this feeding schedule as needed depending on what time you leave and how long you will be driving.
  • Never leave pet in a parked car even with the windows cracked open.
  • Stop every 2-4 hours for your dog to relieve himself and get a drink of water.
  • Use car safety seats and harnesses - available on the Cairn Mall, at most pet stores and online.
  • Never leave pet in a parked car even with the windows cracked open.
And check out this blog for lots of great info and articles about traveling with your pet:

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