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Memorial Day weekend brings the unofficial start to summer and with it, school vacations and time off from work!  If you plan on traveling with your pets this summer here are some tips to make the time more enjoyable for all!

Meds for Car Sickness

1. Car rides can be a treat for some dogs and others can dread them, stressing or getting car sick.  If your dog gets car sick there are medications that can be given to help counteract motion sickness.  If they are hyper or stressed during the trip there are medications to help with this as well.  Sometimes dogs do better in a more confined area so bringing their crate along or using a car gate to corral them to the back of an SUV can be helpful and make travel safer.  Stopping for potty breaks and a leg stretch can make things more comfortable for all, just make sure you have poop bags handy!  Remember to pack food and treats they are used to eating so they don’t get an upset stomach.

Pet-Friendly Hotel Rules

2.  Prior to making travel plans, make sure your pet is welcome at your final destination.  When you get to your destination make sure you follow the rules to make it safe and enjoyable for your pet as well as others.  Your dog should always have a collar on with a form of identification and be on a 6 foot or shorter leash.  Reserve retractable leashes for some open space roaming if needed but they should not be used in tight quarters or areas with lots of crowds or other dogs- they can be dangerous to you, your dog or others if not used properly!

Pack Snacks

3.  If you plan on camping or hiking with your dog don’t forget to take a snack or water if there is none available along the way.  Make sure you allow breaks on hikes or wading in streams or lakes to allow your hiking partner to cool off.  If they start to lag behind, take a break before moving on!  Check pads for cuts since some rocks on trails can be sharp on feet.

Cats in the Car

4.  Cats can make easy travel companions however they should always be crated in a vehicle for their safety as well as yours.  When cats panic they often either climb up higher (in a vehicle this is usually a dashboard and can impede vision while driving) or burrow down low.  A favorite place for cats to hide is under seats or pedals which can be extremely dangerous in a moving vehicle.  If you choose to let your cat roam on longer rides, make sure you have a harness and leash on them and proper identification.  Travel/disposable litter boxes can be found at most pet stores and can be useful on longer trips .  Since cats can be picky, don’t forget to bring their favorite foods along!

Plan Ahead

5.  Emergencies can strike at the worst times!  It’s always a good idea to know where a local vet clinic is or emergency hospital in case you should need something.  Having a copy of your pet’s medical records or at least a copy of vaccinations is helpful.  Most state parks require proof of an up to date rabies vaccination.  I also suggest packing extra food and medication in case your trip runs longer than planned.