PR Newswire - The holidays are a special time to spend with loved ones—including your family pets. And with a few extra preparations, you can help your pets safely join the festivities no matter where you travel.
Here are some holiday travel tips from our friends at the ASPCA:
If you're traveling by car, get your pet ready for a long trip by taking him or her on a series of short drives first, gradually lengthening the time spent in the car. Also make sure you secure the crate—and that it's well ventilated and comfortable—before starting off.
Feed your pet a light meal three to four hours before departing. Don't feed your pet in a moving vehicle.
Never leave your animal alone in a parked car, even if it's cold outside. Hot temperatures can lead to heatstroke, and chilly temperatures can make the car act as a refrigerator, freezing an animal to death.
Bring along some food, water from home, bowls, a leash, a waste scoop and plastic bags, grooming supplies, a first-aid kit, medication, and vaccination records. Also stow a favorite toy or pillow to give your pet a sense of familiarity.
Make sure your accommodations at your destination are pet-friendly.
Make sure your pet is micro-chipped and wearing a collar and ID tag. Include your contact information and your destination on the collar.
The ASPCA urges pet owners to think twice about flying their pets on commercial airlines, especially if they plan on checking them in as cargo. Unless your animal is small enough to fit under your seat and you can bring him or her in the cabin, the ASPCA recommends pet owners to not fly their animal.
If your pet must travel in a plane's cargo hold, write "Live Animal" in large letters on the crate and draw arrows to indicate the upright position of the crate. Also attach a current photo of your pet to the crate in case your pet escapes.
If the plane is delayed, or if you have any concerns about the welfare of your pet, insist that airline personnel check the animal whenever feasible. In certain situations, removing the animal from the cargo hold and deplaning may be warranted. For more tips on flying with your pet, click here.