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Health Tip: Traveling With Your Pet

(HealthDay News) -- If you are planning a long road trip and taking Rover or Fluffy along, the ASPCA offers these suggestions to help keep you and your animal safe:

  • Acclimate your pet for a long trip by taking the animal on a series of short drives first, gradually lengthening time spent in the car.
  • Start your pet on a travel-feeding schedule with a light meal of kibble two to three hours before departure. Never feed your pet in a moving vehicle.
  • In addition to travel papers, food, bowls, leashes, a waste scoop, plastic bags, grooming supplies, medication, and a pet first-aid kit, pack a favorite toy or pillow to give your pet a sense of familiarity.
  • Make sure your pet has a flat (never a choke) collar with an ID tag imprinted with home address, as well as a temporary travel tag with your cell phone and other relevant contact information.
  • Harness, rather than leash, your dog inside the car. For smaller animals, a well-ventilated crate is recommended.
  • Don't allow pets to ride with their head outside the window. This places them at risk of flying objects, inner-ear damage, and lung infections.
  • If you travel frequently with your pet, consider waterproof seat covers or rubberized floor liners sold by auto product retailers.

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This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

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