10 Essential Pet Travel Tips

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Are you hitting the road with your dog or cat this summer? Whether your vacation plans include travel by car, motor home, plane, or rail, bringing your pet along for the ride always takes a little extra planning and preparation. Here are a few basic pet travel tips to be aware of before you and your best friend make tracks!

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1. Make sure your pet’s ID info and vaccinations are current and up-to-date. Carrying proof of vaccinations with you is also a good idea.

2. For dogs, bring along both a short leash and a long leash so that you are prepared for all situations and local leash regulations.

3. Check for any breed-specific legislation at your destination if you are bringing along a dog breed that is impacted by BSLs.

4. Use secure crates, carriers, and harnesses for safe pet auto travel. Pets and car air bags don’t mix, so deactivate airbags for any seats your pet will be in.

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5. Bring along a pet first aid kit for road trips, especially if your pet will be spending a lot of time in the great outdoors.

6. For air travel, cats and small dogs do best when they are in the cabin tucked under the seat in front of you.

7. Clearly label the carrier with your pet’s ID information. Remove collars before placing your pet in a carrier to avoid choking.

8. Bring portable, spill-proof water bowls and bottles of fresh water with you so your pet stays hydrated.

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9. Remember to keep a close eye on your pet when camping or hiking to avoid him getting lost or having a run-in with a not so domestic animal.

10. For vacations to the beach, be sure to pack a life vest and sunscreen so your pet can safely enjoy the sand and sea.



What to Do if You See a Dog in a Hot Car this Summer

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We’ve all seen it…a dog left alone in a parked car on a hot summer day. Even if the window is cracked and the car is parked in the shade, a dog is at risk of heat-related illness and even death when left in a hot (or not so hot) car. Did you know that even when it’s 70 degrees outside, the interior temperature of a closed car can reach 90 degrees in just a few minutes?

What should you do to rescue a dog you see left in a hot car…without getting in trouble for breaking someone’s car window? The Animal Legal Defense Fund has some very helpful advice for concerned animal lovers across the US. Here’s a rundown of their expert tips:

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  • Call 911 so that the police can come and break into the car if necessary.
  • Know your state’s “hot car” laws. Many states have different variations of this type of law, with more being enacted all the time. Some states have “good Samaritan” laws which allow citizens to break windows to save pets. In other states, only official personnel like law enforcement or animal welfare officers can do this. Some states have made it illegal to leave an animal in a hot car, although the penalties tend to be on the lenient side.
  • Speak up. When you see someone walk away from a dog left in a car, politely inform them of the dangers of leaving an animal in a hot car.

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  • Get a sunshade and flyers to spread the word. The Animal Legal Defense Fund sells sunshades (all proceeds benefit the ALDF) with a message warning of the dangers of dogs in hot cars in bold letters that can be seen from a distance. You can also download printable flyers with the warning message.  Get them HERE!


4th of July Pet Safety Tips

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It’s official…summer is here and our pets depend on us to take good care of them during these warm months. Make sure your pets stay cool and well-hydrated when it’s hot, and of course, NEVER leave your pets unattended in a hot car…even with the windows cracked and parked in the shade.

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With 4th of July fireworks celebrations just a couple of weeks away, now is the perfect time to make sure that your dogs and cats stay calm, cool, and collected during this holiday. More pets go missing during the 4th of July than at any other time of year, so it’s especially important to follow these simple pet safety tips. Added bonus: they apply to summer thunderstorms too!

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  • Keep dogs and cats inside during fireworks, preferably in a comfortable isolated room. Put on the radio or TV to drown out the booms and provide dogs with chew toys as a distraction.
  • Give your pets plenty of play and exercise during the early part of the day, so that they will be more inclined to rest during nighttime fireworks.
  • Now is a good time to make sure that your dogs and cats have proper ID and that their microchip information is up to date, just in case they do escape.
  • Anxious pets may appreciate calming apparel like the popular ThunderShirt during loud fireworks. Talk to your vet about medication if your pet is super-nervous.

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  • Don’t take your dogs with you to fireworks displays. The big crowds and close proximity to the fireworks may be too much for them to handle.
  • Keep pets securely inside if you or your neighbors plan to set off any fireworks of your own outside the house.
  • If your 4th of July celebrations include an outdoor party, be sure to keep pets away from hot barbecue grills, alcohol, and insect repellants.

How to Keep Your Pets Safe This Summer


With Memorial Day just around the corner, people are looking forward to lots of fun outdoor activities this summer, including spending time outside with their pets. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) has a few timely reminders about warm weather hazards for dogs and cats. Here are a few tips on how to keep your pets safe while they enjoy the great outdoors.

Insect Stings and Bites


Bees, ants, and other insects can sting or bite your curious pets, causing pain, swelling, and in some cases, an allergic reaction. The APCC recommends that you scan your yard for hazards like wasp nests, beehives, and anthills before letting your pets outside.

Lawn and Garden Products


We love our healthy green lawns, but products like weed killers, pesticides, and fertilizers can be dangerous for pets, especially in large amounts. Keep your pets in the house until the product is dried out or watered in (depending on the instructions). Keep your pets away from any open containers in the garage, too.

Pool Chemicals


If you have a backyard pool, be sure your dog knows how to swim and get to an exit point safely. Keep all pool and hot tub chemicals away from your pets.

Flea Control Products


Most flea products are relatively safe when used as directed, but be sure to follow all package instructions carefully. Most problems occur when the products are used incorrectly. The APCC warns all pet owners to never mix up dog and cat flea products…the consequences could be serious.



Plants in the yard as well as potted plants and vases of cut flowers in the house are nice, but make sure you know which plants are hazardous to dogs and/or cats and keep them away from your pets. The APCC has a comprehensive list HERE.