Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Holiday Travel With Pets: Tips From the American Humane Association

/PRNewswire/ -- Some pets love traveling -- while others find it extremely stressful. However, with increased awareness of the risks inherent in traveling with animals, owners can prepare and minimize undue stress on their pets. These travel tips from the American Humane Association can help ensure that holiday trips, and travels year-round, are safe and enjoyable for people and their pets.

1. Properly identify pets with ID tags and microchips -- Make sure your
pets have ID and current rabies tags and are microchipped. To be extra
cautious, give your pets an additional tag with the address and phone
number of where you will be staying for the duration of the trip, in
case they get lost after you arrive.
2. Train pets to travel in their crates -- Whether you're heading to your
holiday destination by plane, train or automobile, getting your pets
used to their crates will make the entire traveling experience less
stressful. Even when away from home, pets still view their crates as a
safe haven from stressful situations.
3. With a crate, size does matter -- Crates should be large enough for
pets to stand and turn around in comfortably. Remember to keep water
inside the crate or allow for breaks every three hours so that your
pets can drink and stretch.
4. Never leave your pets unattended -- Just as you would never leave a
child unattended, never leave your pets alone in a car.
5. Be prepared -- Take your pets' health records with you, just in case
they need to see a veterinarian during your trip. Be sure to ask your
veterinarian if she recommends heartworm prevention or treatment for
fleas or ticks for the area in which you are traveling. Keep pet dishes
in your car, as well as extra water and pet food, in case of car
trouble or bad weather.
6. To fly or not to fly -- As a rule, puppies and kittens, sick animals,
animals in heat, and frail or pregnant animals should not travel by
air. If a pet is too large to fly in the cabin with you, perhaps a stay
at a boarding kennel would be a safer choice. You should also plan
ahead because many airlines have restrictions regarding pets, and your
pets may need a health certificate to fly.
7. Visit your veterinarian -- Your vet may prescribe a sedative to help
reduce your pet's stress level while traveling. However, sedatives are
not always safe for pets so be sure to give your vet the details of how
your pet will be traveling and how long the trip will take.
8. Boarding is an option -- If your pets are too large to fly in the cabin
with you, or if a long car ride might be too stressful for them,
boarding your pets at a kennel may be a safer choice. Or you could hire
a licensed pet sitter to take care of your pets in the comfort of your
own home.
9. Try to keep pets on the same "schedule" -- Stop when you would normally
let your pets out at home and at feeding times.
10. Plan lodging ahead -- Research your route, make reservations and carry
a list of pet-friendly lodging along the way. Also, ask for a room on
the ground floor so it is easier to walk your pets. Don't let your
pets stay in the car.

The American Humane Association wishes everybody safe and happy travels this holiday season and throughout the year. For more information on pet travel tips visit www.americanhumane.org/traveltips; for more information about American Humane, go to www.americanhumane.org. Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/americanhumane, on MySpace (http://www.myspace.com/americanhumane) and on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/AmericanHumane). The information contained in this release can be reused and posted with proper credit given to the American Humane Association.

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