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GOLDEN TRIANGLE,Miss.(WCBI)—If you are traveling this holiday season, you probably have a check list.

Suitcases, pound cake, dog carrier.

Road and Travel Magazine predicts nearly 80% of the people who own a pet will bring them along for the ride.

For many people pets are just like family and the holidays wouldn’t be the same with out them.
But whether you choose to board your pet or take them on the road, I’m told a lot of planning and preparation goes into both.

When it comes to making travel plans, Olivia Whitehead with Shaggy Hound of Starkville says there are a few ways to keep your pet comfortable and safe.

“Safety is always first especially when traveling with our little fur babies you need to have them buckled up in the seat when your traveling with them. It’s especially important to stop every four hours so they can go out and kind of use the restroom and kind of stretch their legs. It’s also really important to not over feed or water them before they get on the road because they always get a little anxious. They don’t know where they are going or when the next stop is,” said Whitehead.

The Owner of Columbus Animal Clinic Dr. Kerry Blanton says safety isn’t only a concern while on the road but owners must pay close attention during pit stops along the way.

” It’s really important to keep them on a leash at all times before you open the car door. I know your going to make a lot of stops when your traveling long distance. Usually people stop at busy rest areas or gas stations where there’s a lot of traffic and your pet could be accidentally hit by a car,” said Blanton.

Now, for the pet owners deciding to board this holiday season. Blanton says there are preparation to be made, here, as well.

” We require all pets to be current on all vaccinations that includes distemper parvo combinations, a rabies vaccine and an oral bordetella which is kennel cough so we like all the pets to be vaccinated before they board. Cats need to have their upper respiratory vaccine as well as a rabies to board with us too so that’s something to think about a head of time,” said Blanton.

Judy Peeples is boarding her dog, Deacon, for the first time. She says her biggest concern is making sure her “4 legged child” is in good hands.

“I know I wasn’t going to be here to take care of him. I wanted to be sure that he was going to be taken care of.
You have to have proof of vaccination so you know your dog is being taken care of that way. You can bring your own food or they will feed them themselves, they let them play with other dogs their age and their size and their temperament,” said Peeples.

Owners planning to board pets for Christmas need to make arrangements now.

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