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KUSA- It's a great time of the year for weekend road trips. If you decide to take your furry friend along, don't forget to think about their safety and comfort, too.

Follow these simple tips from Foothills Animal Shelter to have a great getaway together:

  • If your dog gets too anxious or excited about car rides, try taking him/her on a long walk before you hit the road to expend some energy. You can also fill a Kong toy with their favorite treat or peanut butter to keep them occupied.
  • Before you leave, research some hotels who are pet-friendly so that you are not searching for a hotel late at night.
  • It's advised to take distilled water so different city waters don't upset your pet's stomach. Having a gallon on the floorboard of the backseat with a bowl makes pit stops very easy.
  • On that same note, be sure to have baggies to clean up after your pet. You can purchase ready-made ones or simply take along some recycled grocery bags.
  • Make sure your pet has a current license and rabies tag attached securely to his/her collar. As a back-up measure, a microchip is a permanent and secondary form of identification.
  • Use a secure leash and collar. Flexi-leads are not recommended as a dog can see a bird or rabbit, pull hard and the leash can fly right out of your hand. A 6' leather or nylon leash with a very secure clasp is recommended. A buckle collar is fine. However, often times they are kept too loose. If the leash is attached directly to this collar only, be sure it cannot slip over the dog's head if he/she gets spooked.
  • Tempting as it may be, it can be dangerous to have your pet loose in the car. Secure them with a pet seatbelt or for longer trips, in a comfortable crate, which can also be used at hotels.

Jennifer Strickland, Director of Community Relations and Development for Foothills Animal Shelter, contributed to this report.

(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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