Summer Vacations Mean More Travel Time With Your Best Friends
For some pet parents, a trip’s no fun if the non-human members of the family can’t come too. But traveling can be highly stressful, both for you and your animal companions. With thoughtful preparation, you can ensure a safe and comfortable trip for everyone!
A road trip made with a pet involves more than just loading the pet in the back seat and motoring off-especially if you will be driving long distances or plan to be away for a long time. Use these following tips to help you prepare for a safe and smooth car trip:
9 Pet Travel Safety Tips
1. Keep your pets safe and secure in a well-ventilated crate or carrier. There are a wide variety of wire mesh, hard plastic and soft-sided carriers available to suit almost any kind/size of pet these days. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s large enough for your pet to stand, sit, lie down and turn around in. Don’t introduce your pet to the carrier on the day of travel; it’s best to get your pet used to the carrier in the comfort of your home before your trip.
2. Get your pet geared up for a long journey by taking him on a series of short drives first, gradually lengthening the time spent in the car. Always be sure that the crate is secure; that the crate won’t slide or shift in the event of a quick stop.
3. Adjust your pets feeding schedule. Your pet’s travel-feeding schedule should start with a light meal three to four hours prior to departure. Don’t feed your pet friend in a moving vehicle, even if it is a long drive.
4. Pet travel safety tips include never leave your animal alone in a parked vehicle. On a hot day, even with the windows open, a parked automobile can become an “oven”; in no time your pet can become “hyperthermic” and suffer heatstroke. Conversely, in cold weather, a car can act as a “refrigerator”, holding in the cold and causing the animal to become “hypothermic”. Both extremes can be deadly.
5. Pack your pet’s essential requirements. In addition to any necessary travel items such as food, bowls, collar, leash or harness along with things to handle waste i.e., scoops, litter, plastic bags don’t forget grooming supplies and to take any and all needed medications. You should also have a “pet-related” first-aid kit, just in case. Pack one or more favorite toys or items to give your pet a sense of familiarity as well.
6. Make sure your pet has a microchip for identification and has an appropriately sized collar with a tag imprinted with your home address. It is also advised to have a “temporary travel tag” with your cell phone, destination phone number, and any other relevant contact information.
7. Don’t allow your pet (dog) to ride with his head outside the window. Allowing your pet to ride with his head outside the vehicle window could result in your pet being injured by flying objects. It is best to keep pets in the back of the vehicle and keep them in their crates or with a harness attached to a seat buckle.
8. Have necessary travel documents. If you are traveling across state lines, you need to bring along proof of a pet’s rabies vaccination i.e., certificate, as some states require this proof at certain interstate crossings. While this generally isn’t a problem, it’s always smart to be on the safe side.
9. Pick Pet-Friendly destinations. Best to suit your destination to your pet. www.bringfido.com is a website devoted to traveling with pets. It can help with deciding where to stay, play, or eat with your dog, as well as help point you to pet-friendly hotels, restaurants, and activities in the United States.
Traveling with pets is a lot easier when you take the time and care to keep everyone safe, happy, and comfortable. This summer, there’s no need to leave your best friend behind!
Brook-Falls Veterinary Hospital and Exotic Care, Inc. is a full-service veterinary hospital offering an extensive range of comprehensive medical, dental, diagnostic and surgical services to meet the varying needs of all patients. Brook-Falls Veterinary also offers informational and educational media and seminars for pets and their owners by way of Blogs, Digital TV Series (Expert Veterinary Television), e-books, whitepapers, infographics and more. For more information, contact Brook-Falls Veterinary Hospital & Exotic Care, Inc.