The arrival of summer means that many Arizonans may be traveling with their furry family members, and it is important to make sure everyone stays safe — both on the road and during summer fun at home. Best Friends Animal Society, an animal welfare organization working to end the killing of dogs and cats in America’s shelters by 2025, offers these summer safety and travel tips.
Families who stay put this summer need to remember to keep alcoholic beverages out of reach and on high surfaces. Alcohol can be poisonous to pets, even in small amounts. Also, summer food staples such as avocados, grapes, ice cream and onions can cause serious intestinal problems in pets.
It is also important to note that, while some pooches love the pool, dogs and cats should never be left unsupervised near any body of water, including pools, lakes, or oceans.
Finally, don’t forget hydration. Pets get dehydrated quickly so it’s important to have plenty of fresh, clean water on hand. Carrying a collapsible water dish for rehydrating is a good idea in warm temperatures, as is providing adequate shade, especially during the hottest parts of the day.
For those who are hitting the road this summer, Best Friends says that it is key to ease pets into cars, especially if they have anxiety. If a pet is not accustomed to traveling by car or only rides to the veterinarian, try familiarizing them by opening the door and letting them sit inside without the car moving. Feed them tasty treats to make it an enjoyable experience. Once they’re comfortable, start going on short outings and then gradually increase the length of trips.
Make sure pets are secured during a road trip by either using a crate, pet seatbelt, or carrier. Also, when traveling with a dog, plan to stop every couple of hours for exercise and potty breaks.
When flying with a dog or cat, it’s crucial to understand the airlines’ requirements for vaccines, if a health certificate is necessary, and what their requirements are for the carrier or kennel size.
Finally, ensure cats and dogs have current ID tags and a microchip, which are both crucial in case pets get away.
For more information, visit www.bestfriends.org.