Planning ahead will make traveling with your pet easier.
By LYNN O’ROURKE HAYES
(NewsUSA) — You look forward to your vacation, but leaving your furry friends behind is more than you can handle. Luckily, it’s easier than ever to bring your pets along for the ride.
There are plenty of pet -friendly lodging establishments, restaurants, and a slew of gear and other pet products that make traveling with Fido and Fluffy more comfortable. Consider trying the following tips before packing your pets’ travel bags:
• Plan ahead. Prepare to include your pets in the fun by making a list of the extra gear and supplies that you will need and any special reservations that you may require. Include food, litter, leashes, toys, beds, medications and pet carriers. Just to be safe, carry notes regarding your pet’s medical history and your veterinarian’s contact information.
• Have a practice round. If your pet is not used to car or plane travel, introduce him to the carrier prior to departure. Toss in a favorite toy or familiar object and take a spin around the block. Make sure that the carrier is airline-compliant and sturdy enough to make the trip.
• Travel green. Leaving home does not have to mean abandoning planet-friendly habits. Use biodegradable waste disposal bags when cleaning up after your pooch. If traveling with a cat, use a cat litter that offers odor control, clumping for easy clean-up and all-natural, flushable ingredients.
• Keep moving. Just like humans, your pets need as much exercise away from home as they do in their own environment. Make sure you make plenty of stops along the way and allow every member of your family to stretch his or her legs and breathe fresh air. Once at your destination, include your pet in hikes, walks on the beach or a visit to a local park.
• Drink up. Make sure that your pet has access to clean water throughout your travels. A pet’s body is comprised of 80 percent water — proper hydration is key to good health at home and on the road.
• Have fun. Enjoy this extra-special time with your pet. Include him or her in your vacation photo album. Visit a local dog park. It’s likely that your pet will “introduce you” to new friends along the way.