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Article Archive >> Summer Tourism

Tips for Drivers Taking Their Pets on the Road

Tips for Drivers Taking Their Pets on the Road

America's vacation season is in full swing and many dogs and cats are joining their owners for family vacations and weekend getaways. Although summer heat and driving can be a dangerous combination for household pets, they don't have to be if drivers take some simple precautions.
Mory Katz, chairman & CEO of the Response Insurance Group, offered drivers a few pieces of advice from the car insurance company's Driving with Your Pet brochure. "There are more than 120 million household dogs and cats in the nation," said Katz. "They're members of the family and when we take a driving vacation, they are often along for the ride. Unfortunately, many of them don't travel well or are not prepared for long trips." Katz suggests several ways to prepare your pet for a safe driving experience.
If the pet is not used to car trips, try a few test runs to help acclimate them for the ride. Spending time in the car while parked and short drives to nearby destinations are an easy start.
Cats should be kept in a carrier and dogs should be held in a restraining harness. This will help stabilize your pet if there is a sudden movement or accident.
Feed your pet a little less than you would normally. Since too much water can upset their stomachs on the road, limit water by providing ice to chew on. And, don't forget to pack some toys and any other favorite items or bedding.
When traveling to places your pet is not familiar with it's particularly important to have a collar with ID tag that includes both your permanent and vacation addresses and phone numbers. Many veterinarians and animal welfare organizations also offer microchip identification implants.
Dogs like to stick their heads out of the car window, but this is very unsafe. Small stones and debris become dangerous projectiles at highway speeds.
Never leave your pet in a car in warm or hot weather. Even with windows open, or parked in the shade, interior temperatures can quickly rise to lethal levels.

[Courtesy of Driving with Your Pet, www.response.com]

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