Top Tips For Traveling With Pets

(NAPSI)-More and more families are taking their pets with them on car vacations these days.

To help pets and owners get the most out of the experience, the experts at Animal Planet teamed up with Suzuki to offer these tips on traveling safely with pets.

Ten days before departure, pet owners should take their pets in for a physical, inoculations and rabies and health certificates. Vacationers should also confirm that their destination permits pets.

Packing for your pet requires careful planning. In addition to travel papers, bring food, bowls, leashes, a pooper-scooper, a litter pan, plastic bags, grooming supplies and medication. A favorite toy or pillow can give your pet a sense of familiarity. A pet first aid kit, available at pet stores, is another must.

Dogs should wear a flat (never a choke) collar with an ID tag with home address and neighbor and destination phone number. Bring a photo of your pet in case he or she gets lost.

Harness, rather than leash, your dog inside the car. Discourage pets from riding with their heads outside the window; it subjects their noses, ears and eyes to flying objects.

SUVs, minivans and wagons-especially small-but-roomy SUVs from Suzuki and other automakers-are excellent for pet travel. Do not, however, let a pet ride up in front in a vehicle with passenger airbags. The pet should be harnessed in the backseat or cargo area.

Families who travel frequently with their pets may want to invest in cargo-area pet barriers, waterproof seat covers or rubberized floor liners sold by auto product retailers. Several different pet harness systems also are available, including those attaching directly to the seat belt and others designed for pickup beds.

Your pet should be harnessed in the backseat or cargo area of your vehicle when traveling.