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5 tips for traveling with your pet this summer

Photos (clockwise): Flickr CC via colleen (pet area), Brandon Giesbrecht, mrhayata, Jeff Ro

Whether flying out of town or setting out on road trip with your pet this summer, it’s important to travel safely.

Kelly Tart, D.V.M., veterinary emergency medicine specialist and assistant clinical professor in the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, spoke with Health Talk to discuss five simple tips that will help make a stressful travel experience safer and more enjoyable.

  1. Make sure your pet is okay traveling
    Airline flights should be fine for most, but some pets can become carsick when traveling in a vehicle. It’s always a good idea to go for a series of test drives before your trip. Don’t forget to put your pet in the backseat area of the car and use a dog seat belt or properly secured kennel.
  2. Ensure your pet has all the basics
    A leash, water, proper identification and disposable bags for waste are a must. Don’t forget to add your cellphone number or email to your pet’s ID tags, so a lost pet can be returned while on the road!
  3. Practice good etiquette at rest stops
    It’s a good rule of thumb to let your pet use the bathroom, eat or drink whenever you do – at minimum once every four hours. Only walk in the assigned areas and don’t forget to pick up after your pet!
  4. Never leave your pet in a hot car
    Inside a car on a hot day, temperatures can exceed 120 degrees – even with the windows slightly open. If the temperature outside is above 60 degrees Fahrenheit, don’t lock your pet inside! Within minutes of being inside the car, temperature can skyrocket putting your pet at risk.
  5. Know airport guidelines when flying
    Determine health certificate requirements, cage height, cage type and other requirements before arriving at the airport. A quick call to the airline company or visit to their website should do the trick. If your pet doesn’t fit under your seat in an air-travel bag, the cargo area in a secure kennel is always a good option.

Stay safe and have fun with your pet out there this summer!

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