It’s time for a road trip! If that road trip includes bringing your pet, here are some tips to make your next road trip less stressful for both you and your pet.
First, regardless of how you are travelling (road trip or otherwise) be sure your pet is microchipped and wearing a collar with a tag with all relevant contact information (Pet’s name, your name and cell number). It’s a good idea to have a recent picture of your pet with you during your trip
Take as many car rides as you can prior to the trip, extending them each time to allow your pet to get used to being in an automobile for longer periods.
Bring a travel kit that includes:
- Your pet’s food
- Bottled water (water from different areas may upset your pet’s stomach)
- Plastic bags
- First aid supplies
- Your pet’s favourite toy or pillow (for a sense of security)
- Medication (if applicable)
Plan ahead for lodging and ensure the places you stay accept pets (some have size restrictions or extra costs).
When travelling keep your pet in a well vented crate or carrier. It should be large enough for your pet to be able to turn around, stand, sit and lie down. If you choose not to crate your pet then ensure they have a car harness that buckles into the seatbelt. Keep the vehicle well ventilated and don’t let your pet stick their head out an open window as they could get injured by flying debris.
If possible feed them about 4 hours before you start your trip. It’s a good idea to spread out meal breaks and you may want to feed them lighter meals than usual (or don’t feed them at all until you stop for the day. Some pets travel better on an empty stomach.) Be sure to stop regularly for exercise and relief breaks. Ensure the kids don’t tease your pet (we know that sometimes car rides can get boring!)
***NEVER leave your pet alone in a parked vehicle even with the windows open. In the summer, your automobile becomes a furnace. In the winter, your automobile becomes a freezer.
Have a great trip!