Most people who have pets treat them as part of the family. So we decided to pass along some expert tips to help you keep yours safe while on the go with you this summer.
On the Road: Sometimes what holds back a road trip with the dog is our furry friend’s motion sickness. A fairly new drug, Cerenia, can alleviate it better than earlier ones that either didn’t work well or put dogs to sleep. When motion sickness isn’t so profound, doggie ginger cookies also may ease queasiness. And for pooches that just get stressed out by car rides, a Dog Appeasing Pheromone collar (like aromatherapy for dogs) or lavender hanging from the rear view mirror can help. As always, consult your Vet to make sure this is the best plan of action for your pet.
Here are some other pet travel tips to keep in mind:
- Dogs and cats should never travel on laps. Cats should be in carriers, and that’s also a good idea for dogs accustomed to them. Small and mid-size dogs also can be strapped into a canine safety seat, available at pet supply stores.
- Never let a dog ride in the back of a pickup truck, which – wisely – is banned in some places.
- For an extra fee, many airlines will allow you to take pets on board a plane if they’re small enough to fit in a carrier that will slide under the seat in front of you.
- No matter where you travel or how you get there, your per should have an ID tag and an identification microchip, and you should bring proof of your pet’s current rabies vaccination.
Bunking Together: Although there are more pet friendly hotels, motels, B&B’s and campgrounds than ever, there’s no guarantee you’ll find one by chance. Some places require a pet security deposit, which is returned if the chairs aren’t chewed up or the carpet piddled on. And some charge an extra non-refundable fee, while others offer pet perks, from dog walking to pet room service menus! Make sure you get specifics about hotel pet polices and fees before you book a room so there are no surprises. And it’s always a good idea to get a written confirmation with all the pet policy details.
At the Vet’s: Here’s another reason to hate summer’s mosquitoes – they carry heartworm to your pets! Dogs who get infected with heartworm usually get sick, and without treatment, they can die. Treatment success isn’t guaranteed, and it’s not cheap. The good news is heartworm can be prevented by administering monthly heartworm medications.
In the Heat: Plenty of shade and water can keep dogs cool on hot days. “Dogs don’t sweat efficiently, so they can potentially overheat more easily than people.” says veterinarian Gregg K. Takashima. Some dogs; just being dogs, will fetch until they drop. Look for signs of overheating, such as vomiting and excessive panting. If you think your pup is overheated, take him out of the sun, cool his pawpads with water and take him to the vet.
Without Fleas: Fleas and ticks are more pervasive than ever. Blame going to a warming trend that lets them survive longer in places where they usually would not. Fleas can hitch a ride on your shoes or on your pet. Laying up to 40 to 50 eggs daily, they can quickly invade your home and make your pet very uncomfortable. Thankfully, today’s veterinary flea pills and products applied to the pet’s skin really zap fleas, so the days of fitting flea collars and using toxic dips are over. If ticks occur where you live, your vet can suggest a product to deal with both fleas and ticks.
We hope these tips help make your summer more enjoyable with your pets.