Planning a Family Vacation? Read these Travel Safety Tips First

Monday, June 9, 2014 - 4:00pm
Little girl sitting in back of van with yellow lab

Summer travel season is in full swing, and we think family trips are always more fun when you bring your furry friends along. If you’re planning to hit the road this summer with your pets in tow, be sure to check out these travel safety tips before you go:

In the car:

Thinking about taking a road trip? It’s a good idea to practice having your pet ride along for a series of short rides leading up to your big trip. Keep your pets safe and secure in the car by having them ride in a well-ventilated crate or carrier. The crate should be large enough for your pet to stand, sit, lie down and turn around in. Be sure to pack plenty of water, and avoid feeding your pet in a moving vehicle. For a full list of car travel safety tips, visit our Pet Care section.

Traveling by plane:

Unless your furry friend is small enough to ride under your seat on a plane, the ASPCA suggests avoiding air travel with pets. However, if you must bring your pet along on your flight, it’s best to plan ahead. First, make sure all vaccinations are up-to-date and that your pet has been microchipped for identification purposes. Book a direct flight if possible, and purchase a USDA-approved shipping crate that is large enough for your pet to stand, sit and turn around in comfortably. Be sure to mark the crate with the words “Live Animal,” as well as your contact information and a photo of your pet. Attach a pouch of your pet’s food to the outside of her crate, and freeze water in a dish for your pet to drink as it melts throughout the flight. For more air travel safety tips, visit our Pet Care section.

No matter where you’re headed this summer, please be sure your pet is wearing an ID tag at all times. We’re wishing you many happy trails and safe travels. Don’t forget to send us a postcard of Fluffy soaking up the sun during your family’s vacation!

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Mary DeForest

I wish that hints for traveling with dogs-especially the small nervous breeds, include some sedation for the dog. Animal control in small towns and villages are overwhelmed in summer, and in the fall when snow birds head for a warm Arizona winter.

When I was getting a pair of hounds, the Animal Control van drove up with over 2 dozen toy to small dogs abandoned along the freeway and at rest stops. Police have caught some of these people. The little dog gets agitated-barking and aggressive behavior. People actually think that some rancher can use a 7 lb dog as a work animal, or it can go hunt prey, and they say that to police. The owners take off the collars, and have the nerve to tell police that the dog escaped-ran off. Yeah, the dog put his collar in the rest stop trash can.

Oh, yes. When they do contact an owner because of a microchip, the owner refuses to have the dog shipped to them, and they say that it's cheaper to buy a new dog

Please start recommending that people use a mild sedative from the vet, and that way the little dogs won't end up being run over, starving to death, or being eaten by coyotes.