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Car Travel with Dogs

Traveling by Car with Your Pet

Traveling with friends and family is often an enjoyable experience. Often times, our pets are included in that mix and can help make the trip that much more exciting. If your next adventure includes family members of the furry kind, these tips are for you!

Before hitting the road, consider your dog's health, age and personality and plan with their individual needs in mind
Ask yourself what, if any restrictions you and your pet may face. Will they spend long hours in a hotel? Will there be activities they can participate in?
Before your departure, take your dog to your veterinarian to get a health certificate and proof of vaccinations. Different states have different regulations, so it is best to take your dog's records with you in case they are required. Let your vet know where you will be traveling in case there are communicable diseases of which you should be aware. If you are going to be hiking in wilderness areas, inquire about Lyme disease.
Most dogs love to travel in the car, but if your dog is not accustomed to traveling, take him for mini-trips beforehand. To help your dog overcome motion sickness, feed him lightly before the trip, about one-third the usual amount of dog food.
Your vacation route should be planned with your dog's needs in mind. Rest stops should be included every four to six hours so your dog can relieve himself. Water should be offered at each stop. Be sure to carry paper towels for to clean up potential car accidents and poop bags to scoop up after rest stops.
During your trip, your pet should always wear a dog collar with rabies and dog tags. Keep an extra ID tag on your dog's collar with a friend's name and address -- since you will not be at home to receive any calls if your dog is lost.
While traveling with your pet, review the road rules for any state you will be traveling through. Many states have rules that require you to retrain your pet while others have rules against a pet sitting on the drivers lap. Comfortably restraining your pet during travel will help increase the safety of you, your passenger, your pet and other drivers.
Please remember when traveling with your dog that you must never leave it in a parked car. Even a car parked in direct sun on a cool day, with the windows cracked a few inches, can heat to more than 120 degrees F in less than 10 minutes.
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