(HealthDay News) -- If you are planning a long road trip and taking Rover or Fluffy along, the ASPCA offers these suggestions to help keep you and your animal safe:
- Acclimate your pet for a long trip by taking the animal on a series of short drives first, gradually lengthening time spent in the car.
- Start your pet on a travel-feeding schedule with a light meal of kibble two to three hours before departure. Never feed your pet in a moving vehicle.
- In addition to travel papers, food, bowls, leashes, a waste scoop, plastic bags, grooming supplies, medication, and a pet first-aid kit, pack a favorite toy or pillow to give your pet a sense of familiarity.
- Make sure your dog has a flat (never a choke) collar with an ID tag imprinted with home address, as well as a temporary travel tag with your cell phone and other relevant contact information.
- Harness, rather than leash, your dog inside the car. For smaller animals, a well-ventilated crate is recommended.
- Don't allow pets to ride with their heads outside the window as this subjects them to flying objects, inner-ear damage, and lung infections.
- If you travel frequently with your pet, consider waterproof seat covers or rubberized floor liners sold by auto product retailers.