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Animal Update: Summertime Travel

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Dog wearing sunglasses in pet carrier waits to board airplane (AP)

Dog wearing sunglasses in pet carrier waits to board airplane (AP)

Jeff Bell20100908_KCBS_0122r Jeff Bell
A Bay Area native, Jeff is thrilled to be at KCBS, a station he...
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(KCBS) – Summer is here and folks are making their vacation plans. So the big question: Should the pets go along or stay home? KCBS’ Jeff Bell talks to Dr. Jack Aldridge, Director of Veterinary Services at The San Francisco SPCA, about traveling with your pets.

This is a place where we have to think of things from the animal’s point of view. Dogs and cats generally just don’t enjoy rapid changes of scenery the way people do. They like things to stay the same every day! With some exceptions, your pets will most likely be safer and happier left in good care close to home, and you’ll probably enjoy your own vacation more without the added worry and stress involved when traveling with your pet.

So if you decide to leave your pets at home, there are a few things you should do. If it can be arranged, a trusted house sitter with animal experience is the gold standard. Friends or the staff at your veterinary hospital may be able to make good recommendations for either a pet sitter or a reliable boarding facility.

When looking for a boarding facility make sure the staff is welcoming and knowledgeable. The whole facility should be clean, well ventilated, kept at a comfortable temperature, and not overcrowded. The dogs’ individual kennels should be roomy, and should be cleaned frequently.

And there should be a large, secure, spotless playing area made of gravel or concrete. A responsible kennel will also require proof of certain vaccinations. If the kennel doesn’t have a veterinarian on staff, make sure there is one on call 24/7 and that they have all your emergency contact information right at hand.

Animal Update airs on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM on Sundays at 1:35 p.m., 3:35 p.m., and 9:21 p.m.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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