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Tips to keep pets healthy, happy at home and on the road

December 22, 2005

Help keep pets happy and healthy on family vacations with some seasonal precautions.

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Taking the pet on vacation

* Dogs and cats need to be secured properly in the car. Consider keeping the pet in a crate if it's a long trip. For large dogs, you can use a special harness that attaches to your vehicle's seat belt.

* Experts caution against letting dogs ride with their heads out the window of a moving vehicle. Air currents can cause inner ear damage.

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* Decrease the risk of car sickness by not feeding pets right before you leave.

* Bring along water plus small toys and treats to keep your dog busy as some pets get anxious in the car.

* When planning hotel stays, check to see if they have pet-friendly policies.

Smaller pets: Home alone

Leaving your fish behind is no problem with week-end and vacation feeders. They slowly dissolve to meet the nutritional needs of your fish while you are away. Make sure the cage for a gerbil or hamster is in a cool place away from direct sunlight and has extra food, water bottles, chew toys and automatic feeders.

Exercise is important so get out and play with your pet.

-- NAPSI

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