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Published: Dec 17, 2012

As the holidays draw closer, many families are getting set to hit the road to celebrate with loved ones. Pet owners often bring their dogs or cats along for the ride, but taking a pet on a plane or in an automobile takes a bit of planning. Here are some tips to remember as you arrange your trip with your animal companion.

Travel by car
Many canines love traveling by car, but cats - and some dogs too - can be a bit pickier about rides in an automobile. Crate training your pet can make a journey on the road more comfortable, as some animals find it comforting to be in a familiar, confined space when in the car.

Both cats and dogs can be prone to motion sickness, according to VCA Animal Hospitals. It's important to know the signs of car sickness - your pet may seem restless or salivate heavily, and dog or cat vomiting is not uncommon. If you are worried that your pet suffers from extreme motion sickness, then it is probably best to bring him to the vet to ask about prescription medicine that can help ease these symptoms.

If you're going on a long journey, remember to plan in time to stop and give your pet a rest. Your animal companion will need time to get out and stretch his legs and relieve himself. Also, it's important to remember that your pet should never be left alone in the car under any circumstances.

Travel by air
Airplane travel with your dog or cat should be preceded by a visit to the vet to make sure your animal companion is in good shape. After that, you'll need to get in touch with the airline you plan to fly with to make sure you have a good grasp on their regulations regarding the safety of your pet. When buying your plane ticket, it's best to purchase a direct flight to avoid any layovers. It may be easier to book a direct itinerary during the weekdays.

Your pet will most likely need a carrier of some sort. If you don't have one yet, you can ask your vet for advice. Look for a carrier that is large enough to comfortably hold your pet, but not so big that he'll be tossed about when transported. Make sure the container is ventilated and comes equipped with a water tray to keep your pet hydrated while in transit.