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Traveling with your pet is a venture that should be treated with a good amount of caution and some basic planning in advance.  Taking your dog or cat with you on the highway to another community should involve some additional basic precautions to make sure your furry companion makes it through the trip and home again, safe and sound.

The staff at the Laramie Animal Shelter receive several reports each year of pets lost at truck stops, rest areas and gas stations in towns away from home.  Most of these losses could be avoided with some preplanning and some extra caution.

If you are going to be traveling with your cat or dog companion you should consider the following tips:

1.    Collars and accurate identification tags are your pet’s ticket home in ANY situation.

2.    Cats should travel in carriers as they are small and can often escape from the doors of the vehicle during transfers and pit stops. 

3.    Dogs should be leashed for pit stops in any instance.  Truck stops, rest areas and gas stations are all busy areas.  Further, if Fido’s inclined to get car sick and you need to stop on the side of the road, Fido should be on a leash for safety.

4.    If your dog is inclined to leap from the vehicle as soon as the door is unlatched, it’s a good idea to clip Fido into the vehicle.  Clipping his leash to a luggage tie down or other fixed point can afford you some time to maneuver when you are opening the doors and moving about.

5.    Some pets get car sick and kitties become stressed by the uncertainty of their surroundings so your vet may be able to prescribe some anti-nausea and/or some anxiety medications.

6.    Check for all your passengers after EVERY stop.  It’s amazing how many pet owners get several towns down the road to find out that they lost their pets but don’t know which stop was the point of escape.

If you plan and use caution, there’s no reason that Fluffy and Fido can’t accompany you on trips out of town and even out of state.  Taking the precautions above will help everyone make it home safe and sound and will help owners avoid panicked moments in strange towns along the way.

Safe travels and enjoy those summer road trips!