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Keep your pets safe while you're on the road

Make sure your vacation buddy is safe while traveling.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Summer is here and many people are starting their summer travel. But in the midst of all the excitement, our furry friends may need a little extra love and attention.

Vacations are a time where families can reconnect, and in many cases, people don't want to leave their furry member of the family behind. 

So, how can you enjoy your time away from home and keep your pet at ease, and most importantly, safe. 

Before heading out of town with your pet, a visit to the vet is ideal. Dr. Karen Sheppard with Huntsville Animal Services says not only will this give your vet the chance to assess the risks of your pet going, it's also how you can receive the proper documentation for your pet, especially if traveling by air. She adds, "Make sure you get a copy of mainly your rabies vaccination. Make sure that's up to date and then that you have your tag. If you're crossing state lines or flying, you at times will need a health certificate. You're going to be required if you're flying, so your vet will fill that out for you too."

And if you're doing your traveling via car, let your pet be your guide when it comes to bathroom breaks. Sheppard says, "If you're traveling with a young dog, they just might get the wiggles. And so they'll go from resting and sleeping to needing a little exercise and you'll know the signs. But some of us older folks, and older pets, we can snooze for eight hours before we have to use the bathroom. So let them be your guide, and that'll work pretty well for you."

Lastly, and possibly most importantly, especially if your pet suffers from separation anxiety, is keeping that routine going. They may already be weirded out by the new environment they're in and keeping routine can help ease that stress. 

Sheppard suggests, "Pack your pets essentials, food being one of the most important things, but sometimes even their small bed. If your pet uses pee pads, take the same pee pads. I even have some people that insist on taking the same water from their home, you know. So keeping the routine is really important. Try to feed them at the same time, do those walks at the same time."

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