2004-08-06 / Community

Don’t Leave Pets Behind

Don't Leave Pets Behind

          Summer wouldn't be complete without family camping trips or vacations to the beach. Yet, many pet owners hesitate to include the whole family and take their dogs and cats on long car rides. According to Response Insurance, drivers can take simple precautions to protect their pets. 
   "There are more than 120 million household dogs and cats in the nation. They're members of the family and when we take a driving vacation, they often come along for the ride," said Ray Palmero, director of public relations for auto insurer, Response Insurance.
Palmero said pets and owners are just not prepared properly for long trips and suggests a few ways to ensure a safer driving experience.
Start off small: if pets are not used to car trips, spend some time in the car while parked. Then take short rides to nearby destinations to familiarize them with the car.
Keep their stomachs happy: Feed pets a little less than normal before beginning the trip. Also, provide pets with ice to chew on because while water is important, too much could upset their stomachs.  
Safety first: Although dogs like to stick their heads out of the car window, small stones and debris can become dangerous projectiles at highway speeds.
Heat hurts: Never leave pets in a car in warm or hot weather. Even with windows open or parked in the shade, temperatures inside the car can rise to lethal levels.
Under control: To stabilize pets in case of sudden movement or accident, keep cats in a carrier and dogs in a restraining harness. This also prevents them from becoming distractions to the driver.
Lost and found: Pets are unfamiliar with new vacation spots. It is important to keep pets leashed and have a collar with an ID tag that includes both permanent and vacation addresses and phone numbers. Also, bring photos of pets in case they do get lost to make a01Clost peta01D posters and give to animal shelters.

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