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Animal Ark Animal Hospital - Travel Safety Tips For Your Pet

Tips for Traveling With Your Pet in the Car

Restrain Your Pet

Hands (or paws) down, the best way to keep your pet safe during a car trip is to use a restraint system. You wear a seat belt for your own safety -- give your pet the same respect. Your pet should ride in the backseat so it won't get injured if a front seat airbag is deployed. However, don't let your pet ride in the bed of a pickup truck. In that case, it's safer up front with you.

 Following are some general tips:

  • Cats and small dogs travel best in a carrier and should use a seat belt to secure the carrier.
  • If you need to use a crate for your larger pet, make sure it is well secured and cushioned.
  • Another option to secure your dog in the car is through a restraint system which attaches to your regular seat belts, or straps that attach to the ceiling of the car.

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Put Together a Travel Kit

If you're traveling out of state, bring your pet's health records along. Put your name, destination address and cell phone number on your pet's crate in case of emergency.

Portable water bowls -- you can even buy one that folds up -- and bottled water are a great idea.

Keep Your Pet Safely Entertained

It might seem fun to let your dog hang its head out the window, but this practice is dangerous. Your dog's eyes could be hit by flying objects. Excitable canines can also unexpectedly leap out an open window, leading to serious injury or death.Bring along a favorite chew toy, treats and other objects that will keep your pet entert­ained and busy.

Food, Water and Bathroom Breaks

Although water is fine, don't feed your pet in a moving vehicle. Feed it no more than three to four hours before your trip begins, to minimize motion sickness.

Stop the car often to let your pet out on a leash, to stretch its legs and use the restroom.

Never leave an animal unattended in a parked vehicle.

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