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Safety is key when traveling with furry friends

Published 4:10pm Tuesday, June 26, 2012

As summer travelers hit the road, some of those travelers are bringing along furry friends.

However, traveling with pets poses certain challenges, not the least of which is what to do with the furry traveler when making a pit stop.

“Don’t leave them in the cars when it’s extremely hot,” Animal Control Officer Kristi Sexton said. “If it’s 90 degrees outside, it’s probably over 100 (degrees) in that vehicle.”

If the family needs to stop and get something to eat and stretch, Sexton recommends either leave the pet in the car with the car running or leave an individual in the car.

“With the heat the way it is, even though you crack the window, it’s not enough,” Sexton said. “I have a keyless entry, and I leave mine running with the doors locked. We have had cases when the window was too far down and people have taken the animal out of the vehicle. If possible, lock it with the car running or have someone stay in the vehicle with them.”

Animals can also get car sick just like humans when traveling in a vehicle so limiting what the animal eats before the trip and crating them will help reduce sickness, Sexton said.

Many times animals are left outside of crates and roam free within the vehicle, but according to Sexton, this can be a dangerous situation if the vehicle were to get in an accident.

“I would probably recommend crating them,” Sexton said. “We have people where they get in a wreck and when they go to look in the car, the dog runs off and the dog is lost.”

The crate should be large enough for the animal to be able to stand up and turn around in for long trips.

Crates are also important because if there was an accident, the chances of the animal being injured are much higher if he or she was outside of the crate.

“They’re a lot smaller, and they’re likely to get injured,” Sexton said. “In a create, they’re kind of protected.”

With pickup trucks, it’s important to remember that having an animal in the bed may not be the best solution, according to Sexton.

“Even if they have them on the back of a truck, it’s best to crate them and latch it so that it’s not sliding all over the bed of the truck,” Sexton said.

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