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Pets on holiday, too
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If you've already made family travel plans ahead of your child's new school year or for the upcoming National Day holiday, these provisions also need to involve a special member of the family.

Family members become closer during such a trip, therefore make sure to bring every family member with you - needless to say, your pet dog as well. Enjoy the fresh air and beautiful sunshine with your pet and you will feel much closer to it.

If you have decided to take your dog on a self-driving holiday, a full and detailed preparation is needed.

When reaching the destination, dogs need comfortable and cozy places to rest, but they are sometimes banned from some hotels and restaurants. Therefore it is of great importance to make sure the place you are going is dog-friendly.

Dogs like Golden Retrievers, Schnauzers, Labradors and Cocker Spaniels are quite lively and outgoing in nature so are suitable for a trip. But some canines are not, such as those which are too young or too old. The old dog lets you know quickly about being uncomfortable with unfamiliar circumstances, while the young ones are vulnerable to getting hurt.

The safety of the pet dog in a car during driving cannot be neglected. A safety harness is advisable if you place it in the boot or rear seat to prevent it from getting hurt during the journey.

Many people wrongly believe that holiday trips are beneficial to animals, strengthening their capacity to cope with strange environments. But experts say that it's not as effective as they think and the capacity to adapt to different environments needs to be trained into the dogs before they encounter such challenges. A sudden trip can be too much of a burden for many dogs which will feel stressed and scared. Only those more naturally friendly dogs will feel happy on a trip with owners by their side.

Special attention should be paid to animal insurance because in an alien environment dogs can be easily frightened by other animals and run away. Keeping them well tied up is advisable.

Another important point that requires your attention is the possibility of attacks by other dogs in rural areas where immunity from disease cannot be guaranteed.

(Shanghai Daily August 25, 2009)

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