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Have Spot will travel

Sun., Sept. 4, 2005

When you are driving with the kids, you stock up on snacks and car games to keep them occupied for the long haul. You also make sure each child is properly secured in his or her car seat. What about when you are driving with your pet?

If you’re going on a road trip with your furry friend, your preparation should involve more than just putting the animal in a car and driving off — especially if you are going far or will be away for awhile.

You want to make sure you and your beloved buddy are safe, secure and comfortable. As such, The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals offers the following tips to help you prepare for a safe and smooth car trip.

• Acclimate your pet for a long trip by taking him or her on a series of drives, gradually lengthening the time spent in the car.

• Start your pet on a travel-feeding schedule with a light meal two to three hours prior to departure. Never feed your pet in a moving vehicle.

• In addition to travel papers, food, bowls, leashes, a waste scoop, plastic bags, grooming supplies, medications and a pet first-aid kit, pack your pet’s favorite toy or pillow to give him or her a sense of comfort and familiarity.

• Make sure your dog has a flat — never a choke — collar with an ID tag imprinted with your home address, as well as a temporary travel tag with your cell phone number, a destination phone number and any other relevant contact information.

• Harness, rather than leash, your dog inside the car. For smaller animals, use a well-ventilated crate.

• Don’t allow pets to ride with their heads outside the window. They may be hit by flying objects or suffer inner-ear damage and lung infections.

• If you travel frequently with your pet, consider installing cargo-area pet barriers, waterproof seat covers or rubberized floor liners in your vehicle. These items can be purchased at an auto products store.


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