Keeping Your Pets Safe on the Road

Fourteen percent of all U.S. adults say they have traveled with a pet on a trip of 50 miles or more. A recent poll by the Travel Industry Association of America (TIA) tells us that a minimum of 29.1 million Americans traveled with their pets in the past three years. That's a lot of dogs and cats (and who knows what else) on the road!

Dr. Jake Tedaldi, a well-known veterinarian who makes house calls, says that before deciding to take your pet on vacation, be sure the animal isn't better off at home than in a car or hotel room. If you do decide to take Fido, follow these guidelines to help keep him safe:

• Be sure your pet’s shots are up to date, and carry proof.

• Be sure you have your pet checked out before taking him or her on the road.

• Don’t let dogs stick their heads out of the car windows. Bugs flying in their eyes or the wind can cause serious damage.

• Bring the pet’s everyday food.

• Always carry plenty of water.

• Always keep your pet leashed, especially at rest stops.

• Be sure you make frequent stops to prevent accidents.

• Don’t leave your pets in the car. Dogs have much less tolerance for heat than humans do.

More Resources

Take Your Pet Along by Heather MacLean Walters, MCE Publications, 1997. This fun, helpful book provides a comprehensive list of places throughout the country that welcome and cater to families traveling with pets.


For a look at further resources, check out any of these Web sites. Each offers tips for traveling with pets and a list of pet-friendly lodgings, destinations and products: