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Tips for travelling with pets this summer

Tips for travelling with pets this summer

With the holiday season fast approaching, New Zealand pet owners planning their great kiwi getaway will be asking themselves whether or not to take their dog or cat away with them.

Purina is urging travellers who do want to take their pets with them on holiday to be aware of pet’s needs when traveling, and to consider their pet’s overall safety when taking them away from home for a long period of time.

Shivaun Statham, a dog behavior expert and pet care advisor for Purina, says planning is key when it comes to traveling with pets.

“If your pet suffers from motion sickness, it is worth talking to a Pet Professional first to be prepared. There are behavioural modification techniques and some veterinary medications that can help alleviate symptoms,” says Ms Statham.

“If pets have a negative association with the car, slowly getting them used to a stationery car and then taking them on very short trips may help.”

Ms Statham says stress during travel can also cause some pets to vocalize, pant, salivate, and vomit or toilet whilst in the car.

“When traveling, dogs should be restrained in a seatbelt harness or in a secured crate or pet carrier. Cats should also be contained in a secured pet carrier.”

Ms Statham says taking a cat away on holiday can have its own unique challenges.

“It’s important not to let cats outside of your holiday home unless they are familiar with the area you are staying in. It’s common for cats to run away and not be able to find their way back,” says Ms Statham.

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“By law all dogs have to be micro chipped and wear registration tags, but it is vital to make sure your cat has identification too. A simple collar and neck tag with your cat’s name and your mobile phone number on it will go a long way to help recover your cat if it goes missing.”

Ms Statham also advises pet owners to be aware of their pets’ capabilities around swimming pools and at the beach.

“Water can be dangerous for pets, especially if they fall in and are unable to get out again. If you own a pool, consider installing a pet ramp.”

“Don’t all go swimming and leave your dog on the beach, as they can easily become distressed and try to follow you into the water. Hot sand can be harsh on a dog’s paws, so if you find the sand too hot to walk on, then your dog will too,” she says.

Ms Statham also reminds pet owners never to leave a pet in a stationary car during summer, as heat stroke can be fatal.

She recommends keeping pets inside during the hottest part of the day and using pet sunscreen to protect delicate skin, such as noses and ears, especially if they are light in colour.

“If you’re not planning on taking your pet with you, be sure to book a kennel or cattery early, and always keep your pets vaccinations up to date.”

For in-depth information about maintaining optimal nutrition and care for cats, visit the Purina web site at www.purina.co.nz


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