2008-07-04 / Community

Safety Tips For Traveling With Your Pet

Vacation season is underway and many dogs and cats will be joining their owners for a summer getaway. Although car trips can be stressful for many household pets, experts agree that they do not have to be if drivers take some simple precautions.

Ray Palermo, director of public relations for Response Insurance, a national car insurer, cautioned that too many drivers do not take the time to prepare pets for long trips. Palermo suggested several ways to help ensure a safe driving experience.

• If the pet is not used to car trips,

try a few runs to help acclimate him or her to the ride. Spending time in the car while parked

and short drives to nearby destinations

are an easy start. • Cats should be kept in a carrier

and dogs should be held in a restraining harness. This will

help stabilize your pet if there is

a sudden movement or accident. • Feed your pet a little less than

you would normally. Since too much water can upset their stomachs on the road, limit water by providing ice to chew on. Don't forget to pack some

toys and any other favorite

items or bedding. • When traveling to places your

pet is not familiar with which it is particularly important to have a collar with an ID tag that includes both your permanent and vacation addresses and phone numbers. Bring a photo of your pet in the event you need to put up "Lost Pet" posters. Many veterinarians and animal welfare organizations

also offer micro-chip identification

implants. • Dogs like to stick their heads

out of the car window, but this is very unsafe. Small stones and

debris become dangerous projectiles

at highway speeds. •Never leave you pet in a car in

warm or hot weather. Even with windows open, or parked in the

shade, interior temperatures

can quickly rise to lethal levels. •Pack a first aid kit with tweezers

and alcohol for tick removal,

cloth bandages and topical antiseptic.

For more information on this and other safety topics, visit www.re sponse.com/safety.

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