Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Traveling With Pets, Part Four

I was going to write about traveling with cats this week, but I turned up some photos of both dogs and cats that I thought you'd enjoy, so I've decided to write about keeping your pets contented when they are out of their home environment.

First consideration: if you have an extremely nervous, high-strung animal who is either afraid of or aggressive toward strange animals, leave him or her at home. Not all pets can learn to be happy travelers. Leave such an animal in a familiar environment, with someone s/he knows visiting daily. If you recognize such a temperament early, teach the pet to see his or her crate as a safe haven, and be sure s/he gets to know the people who work at the local kennel. That way, if you have to leave your pet at the kennel (the familiar home environment is always preferable), it won't be a traumatic experience.

Whether your pet is traveling with you or staying home, make sure that s/he has his or her usual food, familiar toys, and usual mat or blanket. If s/he must go to the kennel, provide food, toys, and bedding that are familiar. Don't wash the bedding! You want it to smell like home and family. You can wash it after your pet rejoins you at home.

I've done a lot of traveling with two or even three animals at once--but only when the pets all live together at home. Dogs and cats get along very well if they have a chance to get to know one another. If there are pets where you are going, make sure they will accept an invasion of strange animals! Never, ever, take your pets along as a surprise to your hosts.

You may notice that all my animals, both dogs and cats, wear harnesses. Remember that the best behaved animal can get startled or frightened, and you may need to control him or her.

A harness is easier to grab hold of than a collar, no matter how your pet wiggles, giving you the best chance of preventing a sudden escape. It won't choke your animal as a collar might. In the car, a seatbelt can be looped through a harness.

When you stay at a hotel or motel, never leave your animals loose in the room when you are not there--just another reason to teach your pets to be comfortable when created.

Finally, you will have some pets who particularly love to go to specific places. My dog King loved to go back to Florida, where he was born. Cuddles, on the other hand, loved to attend science fiction conventions. He even loved to dress up. Here he is dressed as Blake, from the Blake's 7 TV series:

Don't be fooled by his facial expression--Cuddles always looked a little melancholy, but his wagging tail told that he was having fun. And sometimes having fun left him all tuckered out!


Choosing the Best Dog for Your Kids

Homemade Dogfood Recipes

How to Care for Your Pet Bird

Worldwide Pet Sitting Directory

Click here for Seven Reasons to Visit India.

My posts on Travel and Cancer Survival begin here.

The series of posts on my trip to Japan begins here.

The journal of my trip to India and Nepal begins here.

The series of posts on my trip to Italy begins here.

Geezer-Chick's guest blog on York, England is here.

Geezer-Chick's guest blog about a fabulous carousel is here.

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Anonymous said...

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