Travelling with your pet

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Sometimes it becomes necessary to travel with your dog when there is nobody at home to leave it with. Maybe you want to travel for a few days and want to avoid separation anxiety because let’s face it; your pet is like your child, and a pet day-care could be quite expensive. Here are pointers as to what you should consider when you want to leave town for a few days, say to go for a vacation, and you can’t leave your pet behind.

Carrier – You will need a carrier for your pet to sit in to control its movement especially if it is not used to sitting still in a car. It is also safer for both you and your dog since you will avoid distractions. Pet carriers can be expensive with the cheapest one, a small carrier for cats, going for approximately Kshs. 4,000/- If you cannot afford a carrier you could always improvise. Get a sizeable carton box, drill holes on it, and spread old newspapers in it. 

Feeding – it’s not advisable to feed your pet when travelling because a full stomach will be uncomfortable and you run the risk of the dog throwing up in the car. If you have to, feed the dog at least 4 hours prior to embarking on the journey. You can give it water throughout and up to the point of travel though.

 Ventilation – Dogs are very sensitive and need fresh air when travelling. They tend to sweat a lot and you will notice that they will move towards the window or climb on top of seats seeking air. Ensure that your car and dog carrier are both well ventilated to prevent the dog from getting road sick and throwing up. If you don’t have a station wagon or a window at the boot, your dog will have to travel on the car seat.

Breaks – If you are going on a long journey, it’s advisable to make stopovers to walk your dog or let him run around to burn off excess energy. Ensure you bring some accessories along like the dog collar and leash to keep him from running away from you. Don’t leave your dog in a parked car since extreme heat or cold could be dangerous. Leave the window slightly open if you must leave him behind.

License – Last but not least, you need to have a dog license. This is issued by Nairobi City Council. It only costs 500/= shillings a year and is basically a license to certify that your dog has received all the required vaccination. This is good for you the pet owner because you avoid having your dog impounded. It will also ensure the general health of the dog and hence a relaxed time for both of you.

Grooming – Make sure your dog is well groomed prior to travel. You need to wash it on the day of travel so it is clean and pest free for your peace of mind as well as for its own comfort.

Upon arrival, take a long walk with the dog so that he can smell and familiarize with the new surroundings

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