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Ten Tips for Traveling with Fido by CeliaSue Hecht

Summer and fall are when many families travel. According to the American Pet Products Association, 72.9 million U.S. Households own a pet (roughly 65% of the U.S. Population), and 25% of pet owners take their pet on vacation with them. When you are traveling with your pooch this fall, here are some ways to make it easier for you and Fido.

1 Prepare your trip and vehicle ahead

of time. Call ahead to make sure that your pet-friendly hotel, inn, motel, or B&B knows that you are bringing your dog and that you agree with their pet policies (fees, weight limits, and amenities). Dogs like to have familiar things around them so bring their comfort foods, treats, and toys to remind them of home. Pack a separate bag with your dog’s goodies, food, treats, portable bowls, toys, bones, pillows, blankets, pet waste bags, and other paraphernalia. Bring your vet’s phone number, medical records, ID tags, photos of your pet, and other info with you. Medications and a pet first aid kit are also a must.

extra car oil, gas can, a flashlight, a spare tire, camping gear, water, towels, pillows, extra cash or credit card and other items you might need (pet shampoo, scissors, bandages, ointments and creams and oils) just in case. 3 Harness your dog with a pet seat belt or put him in a crate or kennel to keep him safe while you drive. 4 Feed your dog a few hours before you leave and wait a couple of hours after you arrive at your destination to ensure that your dog’s tummy will enjoy the trip. Food should be easily digestible, portable, and healthy. eep your dog hydrated. Bring 5 K ice cubes if it’s hot. Walk your dog just before you leave and take potty breaks along the way and after you arrive. Schedule fun stops along the way to beaches, dog parks, pet-friendly wineries or pet stores to alleviate the monotony. 6 Find out ahead of time nearby places to visit including restaurants where you can take your pooch and fun dog-friendly activities in the area.

health certificate that shows that your dog has a rabies vaccine. If your dog is a banned breed, be aware of restrictions and avoid cities and states where these bans are applicable. 8 Keep to a regular schedule while you are away, similar to your schedule at home. 9 Be sure that your pet has an ID tag with your home and local contact info (cell phone) attached to her collar or leash, just in case she gets lost. Dogs do not like to be left  alone in a hotel room, strange places, or even in the familiar confines of your car. Do not ever leave your four-legged friend unattended in a parked vehicle— especially not on warm days. The temperature in your vehicle can be a lethal 120 degrees, even with the windows slightly open in the summertime.

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Keep maps, important phone 2 If you are traveling between Become a friend on Facebook at: numbers, and driving directions 7  CeliaSue Hecht in your glove compartment. Bring states, federal law requires a

76    Fall 2011 | The American Dog Magazine

Profile for The American Dog Magazine