For most of us, the family dog is as much a part of the familial unit as our children. It’s not at all unusual for us to include Fido in vacation plans sometimes even when air-travel is involved, so giving some careful thought to his health and well-being is essential.
What is also true is that there are laws and sticky situations that can raise their heads when we travel with our woofenbarker. (For the record, there are only two kinds of dogs when it comes right down to it. There are woofenbarkers, an example of which is roughly the size of your beloved Labrador retriever, and the yippensnapper, a smaller, more energetic version of the canine clan.) (Hissenscratchers are a different species entirely and, as a rule, are left at home to vacation from the family.)
Most communities in Georgia – and around the country, for that matter – have their own set of safety laws that apply to dogs. These leash laws or special provisions for “dangerous” or “vicious” dogs vary from place to place and can come unhappily into play when you travel with your dog. Your job is to know what laws apply where you plan to be with your pet.
- Before you leave home with your pet, be sure you have a copy of his vaccination record from the veterinarian. Keep it with other important family documents, like passports just in case Fido falls afoul of the local laws.
- Keep him restrained. A leash is a dog’s best friend when he travels. Keep your dog carefully under control when he attempts to interact with strangers in order to avoid unexpected trouble.
- If your dog is unused to strangers or has been known to growl or snap at others, it’s a good idea to outfit him with a muzzle. You may not know him to be dangerous, but the rest of the world doesn’t. Also, if there’s any doubt in your mind about his temperament, put a yellow ribbon on his collar. This is a signal to others that your dog should not be approached and may not tolerate other people’s children well. (Better yet, if there is doubt, leave him with a sitter or at the kennel. A dog bite event can be terrifying and costly. It can spoil an otherwise perfect get-away.)
- Keep a pet travel kit in the car. This includes his food dish, bottled water, his leash, a waste scoop, plastic bags, his medication, and a first aid kit. Also, don’t forget to add his favorite toy or blanket to give him a sense of home.
- An energetic dog at liberty in a moving vehicle can be a recipe for tragedy. When your vehicle is moving, keep your best friend confined in a travel crate or in a pet restraint seat with his collar attached to keep him from running amok or trying to drive.
- Be sure your dog has a microchip to help identify him if he strays, and be careful that his collar has his name, your name and home address, and the telephone number where you can be reached. (If you are away from home, note where you’ll be staying.)
Summertime is travel time, so if your pets travel with you, be sure to plan ahead for their comfort and the safety of others.
For additional questions about leash laws feel free to contact the Georgia dog bite attorneys at The Millar Law Firm. 770-400-0000