Because so many people travel during the holidays, this is a good time to talk about what to do with our pets. Traveling can be very stressful for both you and your pet, but if you plan ahead and use thoughtful preparation, the trip can be safe and comfortable for everyone.

First and most important, always make sure your pet is properly identi?ed. Tags should include name, address and phone number. A rabies tag should also be attached. A microchip implanted under the skin is gaining popularity. The chip contains valuable information that can be read using a scanner. Police departments, veterinarians, shelters and most dog pounds have scanners available. If your pet gets away from you during the trip and is found and turned in, you will be contacted using the information located in the chip.

Vaccinations records are good to have with you also, and if you happen to ?y, health certi?cates are usually required.

As far as travel in the car, it might be best to teach your pet to travel in a carrier. If you use one, be sure it’s large enough for your pet to stand, turn around, and lay down in. Adding a favorite blanket will make your pet feel more at ease and make the trip more comfortable. Make sure the carrier has plenty of ventilation, as this will help reduce heat build-up and provide good air circulation. Another option is a pet seat belt. This attaches to your pets harness and then to the seat belt slot in the vehicle. This way your pet can see you at all times and still be able to lie down and relax while on the road. Keep your pet on the same bathroom schedule that you use at home. When you stop for that needed break, remove your pet from the carrier or seat belt, attach a leash, and lead it to the speci?ed pet area. When your rest stop is over, put your pet back in the carrier and continue on your trip.

Never leave your pet alone in a parked car. Animals can develop heatstroke or hypothermia. If your pet has a tendency to get carsick, avoid feeding it just before or during the trip, even if it is a long drive. When you reach your destination, keep your pet in a calm, quiet area and give it plenty of time to adjust to the new environment.

There are speci?c rules about ?ying with a pet, so if you decide to ?y, it would be best to contact the airline and ask about its rules. You might need to make a reservation and purchase a ticket for your pet. If pets are too large to travel in the cabin, they must be contained in a USDA-approved shipping crate and be put in the cargo hold. According to American Humane, as a general rule, puppies and kittens, sick animals, animals in heat, and frail or pregnant animals should not travel by air.

It may be dif?cult for you to leave your pet in day care while you are away on a trip, but sometimes it’s best for both of you. If your pet is not used to traveling, neither of you will enjoy the trip. If you’re planning a long trip with your pet, it would be better to take a few short trips ?rst, just for practice.

Plan ahead, ask questions, and be prepared. Make the trip a great experience for everyone. If you are looking for a great addition to your family during this holiday season, adopt a pet by calling PAWS Connection at 470-7297.

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