Bringing your 4-legged friend home for the holidays
Posted December 06, 2012
For many pet lovers, holiday traveling without their beloved pet
simply won't do. Taking your pet along can make a holiday event fun
for everyone, if you plan carefully.
Sarah Griffin, a lecturer at Texas A&M College of Veterinary
Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM), says the first step
in preparing for your pet's travel is to keep up-to-date with
interstate and international travel regulations, which can be found
online at www.aphis.usda.gov.
"If you are going across state borders a health certificate is
required, which involves a veterinarian examining your pet,
updating their vaccinations, and ensuring that your pet is travel
healthy," says Griffin. "You should also make sure that pets are
allowed at places you will be staying, especially with inns and
Must have items to pack for your pet's travels include a collar
and leash for walks during pit-stops, a crate and blankets for a
cozy place for your pet to sleep, toys for your pet to relax and
dishes for food, water, and medications.
"A list of veterinarians and/or pet emergency clinics along the
way and at the destination is important in case of any unfortunate
accidents," says Griffin. "You should also make sure your pet has a
form of identification with up-to-date information, like a
Pet owners should remember that traveling is stressful for pets
in much of the same way it is for their owners. Make sure that your
pet is habituated to riding in a car before starting an extended
road trip. While medication can be prescribed for anxiety it is
highly recommended to just train your pet for extensive car
"When on outings make sure your pet is restrained in the car by
either a harness, a pet friendly seat belt, or is safe in a crate,
as this protects the pet and the car's other passengers," says
Griffin. "A pet bed or blanket should be kept with your pet at all
times to help keep their anxiety in check. It is also important to
make sure the seats containing your pet have their air bags
deactivated to prevent any unfortunate accidents. While out on the
road, make sure to stop about every three or so hours to allow your
pet to use the bathroom and drink water."
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