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Dog Travel Tips

Are you going on vacation, and wondering if you should take your pet with you? Barring several factors, there should be no reason not to.

Is your dog too old to travel? Some older pets simply can not handle the stress of traveling, particularly on long journeys or by plane. If this is the case, please do not take your pet with you.

How well does your dog adjust to new places? If your dog has a temperament where they do not adjust easily to new environments, you will be better off leaving them either at home or in a kennel. After all, by the time your dog adjusts to that new environment, you will probably already be back home!

If you have determined it is appropriate to bring your dog with you, but are wondering what might be in store, and what seasoned travelers have learned about taking their canine friends along for the ride, then here are 6 Dog Travel Tips.

1. Visit your Veterinarian

Consider a thorough vet check up within a week or two of leaving. Your vet will be able to tell you if your pet is healthy enough to go on vacation with you. If you are flying, the vet will need to provide you with a certificate that your dog is in good health and free from contagious disease. If you will be crossing state lines, your vet can provide you with proof of rabies vaccinations, which some states require.

2. Pack for your Dog

Besides the health records obtained above, make sure you take along food, water, bowls and a few of your dogs favorite play toys. And don’t forget a leash! Other things to consider bringing include a doggie first aid kit and grooming supplies.

3. Attach that Collar!

Even if you are only traveling in the car with your pet, it is always wise to attach a collar to the dog containing their name, your name, your phone number and address. A pet can run off at any time while your back is turned, and this is the safest assurance that you will get him back.

Your pet should also be microchipped. This provides the best way to link a lost dog to you. If not already done, it can be a part of your veterinarian visit recommended above. This is an almost painless assurance that your dog can be linked to you if she becomes lost.

4. Keep Your Dog and You Safe with a Pet Crate

A Pet Crate is one of the best ways to keep your dog safe in your car, and is a requirement if travelling by air. These crates are available from most pet supply stores, as well as major retailers. If you want a crate that is crash tested to protect your dog, get the G1 Intermediate TM by Gunner Kennels. It is definitely not cheap! However it was named 2015 Top Performing Crate by the Center for Pet Safety.

Make sure that the crate is large enough that your dog can stand, turn around, and lay back down comfortably. To prevent unwelcome surprises, leak proof the bottom of the crate with any absorbent material. Keep all ventilation openings unobstructed, and supply water in a bottle.

5. Plan on Stopping Frequently

Plan to stop at least every 3 to 5 hours to allow your dog to drink, stretch its legs, and relieve itself. This is a general timeline, and your dog may require more or less frequent stops.

6. Never Leave Your Dog Alone in the Car

It feels pleasant to you, with outside temperature around 78 degrees. But even in the shade, your cars interior can be in the 90s, and if the car is in the sun, the temperature can quickly climb to 160 degrees! Your dog can have heat stroke within 15 minutes under these conditions. When you stop, it is best to tie your dog securely outside the car, but even then, do not leave your friend alone for long. Designate a human member of the car to remain with your dog if at all possible.

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