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Traveling with Your Pets During the Holidays

Hitting the road during the holidays can be a lot of fun, but when you have pets to bring along for the ride, it can be a bit stressful. No one wants to have to board their pets if they don't have to. It can be quite the extra expense, and dogs have a risk of developing kenel cough. If you are able to bring your furry friend along with you on a holiday adventure, here are a few tips to follow for making it an enjoyable trip for all.

While on the road...

If you're traveling by car, it's important to keep the safety of your pet in mind. Pets should be properly crated or secured in the back seat of the vehicle. Cats and small dogs should be placed in a carrier, and secured, to ensure that the crate can't topple over. Larger dogs can also be secured and protected by safety belts. Keep food and water on hand, but save them for stops, instead of having loose bowls or dishes in the car, which can make a mess. Be sure to stop for plenty of breaks to feed and water your pet, allow them to go to the bathroom, and to walk them.

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In case of escape...

Any pet owner knows how quickly and easily a dog or cat can slip out of just a small crack in an open car door. Make sure that you have your pet on a leash, before you open their door. If a pet does in fact slip away from you, have pre-made posters or fliers on hand that you can pass out or put up in the area the pet was last seen. You can print these out before you hit the road. Be sure to include a photo of the pet, description, tag information, and owener information- especially a phone number you can be reached at.

Keep them cozy...

If your pet has a favorite toy or blanket that brings them comfort, it's a good idea to bring it along on the trip. If you have room for their pet bed, you can also bring that along to make them feel at ease if you're staying in an unfamiliar place. Pets can experience anxiety, just as people, so help them feel calm by taking extra care to pay attention to their needs, their actions, etc, and be sure to give them extra love and attention.

Skip the junk food...

Often times car travelers will stock up on snacks for a long road trip. It's so easy to toss a human food snack to your pet, but this is something that should be avoided. Common snack foods like nuts, chocolate, grapes or raisins can do major damage to your pet's health, and some are even poisionous. Be sure to check your pet's food and snacks and make sure that it stays fresh during the trip. Also, make sure that you have or have access to plenty of fresh water.

Brush up on good behavior...

Traveling is an exciting adventure- for you and your pet, but when you're traveling to a new place, good behavior can go right out the window, due to so much excitement. It's a great idea to go over basic good behavior practices with your pet before hitting the road. If you're staying in a hotel, or with friends or family, they will appreciate a well behaved pet, who is quiet, doesn't bark or jump, or scratch at doors.

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Make sure your host is prepared...

If you're staying with friends or family, make sure they are okay with you bringing your pet along on the trip. Check to make sure no one in the home has animal dander allergies, or that there are not any young children who may be afraid of cats or dogs. Bring the items your pet needs along with you- don't expect the host to care for the needs of your pet.

Following these tips will ensure a safe, wonderful holiday adventure for you, and your pet!

This post brought to you by Brown Daub Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram.

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