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Taking Fido on Summer Break?

Top Travel Tips for Taking Your Pet Along

Vacations with pets have become increasingly
p
opular, and many resorts are responding to this trend by welcoming four-legged guests with dog massages and puppy exercise programs. But pet owners need to make sure pets are safe on the road.

"Pet owners need to be aware that traveling with their pets requires extra planning and they should consult their veterinarian before they take off or hit the road," explains Dr. Gregory S. Hammer, president of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). "Most airlines require a certificate of veterinary inspection issued within 10 days prior to travel, proof of current rabies vacations, and acclimation certificates.

"Use common sense," he continues. "If your pet isn't used to riding in a car, then you need to take some time to acclimate your dog to car rides before road trips. It's also a good idea to give pets fresh flea and tick treatments before leaving, or a quick rest stop could invite unwelcome hitchhikers on your pet's coat."

Here are some other pet travel tips:

Consider microchipping your pet to allow for quick identification if lost. Another or additional solution, make a travel tag for your pet's collar with your hotel, cell phone, and any information that would speed the return of your pet away from home.

Airline Pet Travel: Smaller pets usually but not always can be brought into an airplane cabin with you, depending on the airline's regulations, but make sure to check with your airline for approval and size restrictions for pet carriers. Larger pets are usually stored in their pet carriers in the belly of the plane where it can get below zero so make sure you know all the details before you go. Pets are not allowed to travel in airplane baggage areas when it is too hot or cold, (unless an acclimation certificate is provided) so check with the airline when making reservations.

Emotional Support Animals: Airlines are cracking down on what they will allow on flights relative to emotional support animals. It used to be small dogs but then passengers started bringing birds and lizards and other creatures.

In vehicles, a dog should never sit in the passenger seat in front of an airbag and never in your lap. Purchase a 'pet seatbelt' before leaving and always secure your pet during road trips not only for their safety but for driver and passenger safety. An animal can become a flying projectile in an accident due to the impact force. These specially made pet seatbelts snap into regular seatbelt clips.

Source: American Veterinary Medical Association

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