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Dec 16,2006

RV Holiday Travel: Tips for Pet Owners

by NewsUSA

Whether traveling by car or plane this holiday season, pet owners need to consider all their options when it comes to deciding whether or not to travel with their pets.

According to the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association, Americans spend more than $38 billion a year on their pets - and the travel industry has taken notice. Hotels and kennels are rolling out the red carpet to four-legged clientele. Plush beds, gourmet biscuits, aromatherapy and massage therapy are becoming more common.

For pet owners considering a kennel, Dr. Jeff Werber, an Emmy award-winning animal health reporter and nationally respected veterinarian, suggests asking what veterinary services are available and whether the kennel requires pets to be current on their vaccinations. Also, make sure your pet is flea-free. Protection from a potential flea infestation can save your pet a lot of discomfort and you a lot of headaches.

"I recommend using a product monthly such as Advantage or K9 Advantix for dogs only, to control these pesky critters, especially before boarding your pet," Werber says.

Winter doesn't mean fleas go into hibernation. Temperate climates, or warm homes, allow fleas to continue producing eggs throughout winter. And don't forget, there may be parasites at your vacation destination. These are just two reasons why year-round flea control is recommended by the Companion Animal Parasite Council.

For some, a trip is no fun without their four-legged companion. If traveling with your pet, don't forget to pack vaccination records, food, bowl, leash, waste scoop, grooming supplies and medication, as well as a favorite toy to give your pet a sense of familiarity.

To familiarize yourself with pet travel requirements, Werber suggests asking the airline a few questions, such as:

* Can your small pet board with you?

* Do they have restrictions on transporting pets as cargo?

* Are there special health and immunization requirements?

Affix a label to your pet's carrier with your permanent and final destination contact information. Do not feed your pet for four to six hours prior to travel. Put ice cubes in the carrier's water tray - a full water bowl can spill and cause discomfort during the flight.
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