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Help make travel stress-free for your dog

Millions of dog owners in the United States consider their pet to be a part of the family, so it's no surprise that an increasing number are including their pets in their vacation plans. Whether you're traveling by car or plane, taking a little extra time to prepare for the trip will make a world of difference when it comes to Fido. Here are some tips to help make traveling with your dog a stress-free experience. American Kennel Club

Dogs get anxiety, too. Many of the issues dogs face when traveling by car, most notably motion sickness, are caused by anxiety. Before you take Fido on the open road for a long trip, get him used to the car by taking many short trips. Take him to fun places like the dog park so he doesn't associate the car with going to the veterinarian and groomer only.

Experiment with feeding. Before you take a road trip, experiment with feeding your dog before shorter car trips. Some dogs do better having not eaten for several hours before they go in the car, while others need to have a small meal immediately before the ride.

Be prepared to clean up. Make sure to bring plenty of paper towels, cleaning supplies and deodorizing spray to clean up. Accidents happen.

Check flights. If you plan on taking your dog with you on a plane, try to find nonstop flights rather than ones with layovers. Pets remain in the plane's hold when it is stopped on the ground.

Buy a crate instead of renting. Purchase your own crate instead of renting one from the airline. This way, your dog can get used to it before the flight.

Have identification. Most important, make sure your dog has a collar and is microchipped, should he get lost. His tag should have your cell phone number on it, and check with your recovery service provider to ensure your contact information is current. To enroll your pet in a 24-hour recovery service, visit www.akccar.org.

Help make travel stress-free for your dog 05/30/11 [Last modified: Monday, May 30, 2011 5:12pm]

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