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Friday, June 29, 2012

ON THE ROAD AGAIN: VACATION TRAVEL TIPS FOR YOU AND YOUR PETS

Traveling with your dog can be great fun but, just like roadtripping with toddlers, advance planning makes everything easier! Here are some plan-ahead considerations and tips to make this holiday smooth sailing.

Is this a vacation your dog will enjoy? If you're headed to Vegas or Branson, for example, your dog will be terrifically bored sitting in a hotel room all day. Make sure the accommodations on the road and at your destination allow pets -- this includes your relatives' homes! Don't assume your grandparents will be thrilled to see your three bouncy, fun-loving Labs...Ask first!

If you are touring and/or camping in a state or national park, check out their dog policies. Many parks do not allow dogs in campsites, in certain areas, or even out of the car at all. Don't rely on a website. Call the ranger's office and ask.

For safety, dogs should always be confined while riding in a car. Airline kennels offer the most protection during a sudden stop, swerve, or collision. At the very least, your dog should wear a seatbelt harness designed for car travel.

Always put your dog's leash on before you open the car door. This prevents him from bolting out into the road or escaping.

When traveling, dogs should wear a well-fitting collar 24/7. Make sure the current rabies tag is on it and consider a special ID tag. For example, a staff member at Stay N Play Pet Ranch has special road trip tags for her dogs that say "TRAVELING-REWARD." The tags include her cell phone number, as well as an emergency contact number of someone who knows how to reach her. A home address and home phone number are useless if you're in another state!

Do not leave your dog unattended in a hotel room. Put him in a crate or take him with you. Remember, the hotel has your credit card information. If your dog soils or damages something, you will pay a premium for it.

If your dog is a barker, don't leave him alone until the wee hours of the morning. Other guests don't want their sleep disturbed and they will call the front desk. Enough complaints and you will be asked to leave.

Your dog's "suitcase" should include: food, water from home or distilled water, current medications, current vaccination records, food and water pans, treats, toys, bedding, an extra leash, paper towels and wet wipes for messes, trash bags, old towels, a sheet to cover the bedspread at the hotel and poop bags. Be a positive ambassador for all pet owners and clean up after your dog every single time!

Jane makes sure her suitcase is packed with everything she'll need to ensure the family vacation is a happy one for everyone!