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Tips For the Road - Pet Friendly Travel

dog ready for a road tripAre you worried about leaving your best friend at home or in a strange place when you travel? You're not alone.

Did you know that there are 55 million pet dogs in America today? And, more pets are going on vacation. That means more and more families are taking their beloved dogs, cats and other pets on their road trips this year.

According to a study conducted by the American Animal Association, 53 percent of pet owners vacation or travel with their pets today. No wonder pets are welcome at many hotel chains and campgrounds and this trend is growing in the hospitality industry.

Professional dog trainer Duane Overturf shares some important and helpful tips when considering traveling with your family's companion.

“Why leave your dog at home with a pet sitter or in a kennel when they can come along for the fun,” explains Overturf. “With a little bit of preparation, taking your dog along for the ride can be a wonderful experience for the entire family.”

His tips for dogs translate to any other pets. Start by doing some research for pet friendly lodgings and attractions. Names of hotel and resorts that cater to pets can be found online at sites like,, and

1. Make reservations in advance and let the management know that you are bringing your pet. Sometimes, you will be charged a nominal fee.

2. Bring your normal pet food brand and stick to the regular diet throughout your vacation. Changing food can upset your pet's stomach and may bring on diarrhea. Make sure your bring food and water bowls, or paper plates and bowls.

3. If you are driving long distance with an animal that is used to walking and using the outdoors for other natural functions, stop every three hours to allow your pet to relieve itself, drink some water and stretch. Many gas stations have dog runs. Bring bags to pick up after your dog.

4. Make sure your pet has on its regular identification as well as your cell phone number in case of emergencies. In a pinch, you can write the information in permanent market on a piece of duct tape and attach it to your pets collar.

5. Make sure your air conditioner is working and that your pet stays cool.

6. Bring an old towel with you to clean up after your animal. You can use the old towel to keep your pet cool by getting it wet with cold water and keeping it on your pet or it's carrier. When using water to cool off your pet, don't make it a bath. Riding in an air conditioned car with a wet animal is a good way to wind up at the vet with a sick pet.

7. Bring a first aid kit, grooming supplies and medications with you, as well as an extra collar and sturdy leash, just in case.

8. Buy a pet harness or a crate for your pet to make travel in a car safe. If you should be involved in an accident, the harness or crate will prevent your pet from going through the windshield or escaping if someone should open the car door.

9. Bring your pet's bed so they will feel at home wherever you are.

10. Don't leave your pet alone in a vehicle on hot days, even if the windows are rolled down. On warm days, the temperature in your car can rise to 120 degrees in a matter of minutes, even with the windows opened slightly.

About the Author...
Duane Overturf has been training dogs in Los Angeles since 1978. You can get in touch with him at 818-999-3999 or by visiting

More pet travel tips around the Web:

Travel safely with your pet by car, airplane, ship, or train

Tips for traveling with your pet

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