A road trip with Fido or Felix can be a great experience when you follow these 10 pet travel safety tips. Before you hit the road, make sure you have everything you need to make it a fun, safe trip for everyone!
Create a Pet Travel Safety Kit and Plan
Bring a copy of your pet’s current medical records and visit animalhospitals.com before your trip to familiarize yourself with the nearest animal hospitals in the area you will be traveling to. Packing a simple first aid kit which includes gauze, bandages, and hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting is helpful to have especially if you are in a remote place. Don’t forget to pack your pet’s medications, vitamins and any other items you need to give your pet during your trip.
Pet Food and Water
Make sure you pack extra food and water to keep your pet comfortable during unexpected traffic delays. Always bring your own bottled water to avoid possible tummy troubles from local water.
Practice Makes Perfect
If your pet isn’t accustomed to car travel or to a carrier, break them in gradually well in advance of the trip by taking short trips during errands and used lots of praise to make it a positive experience.
Prepare for a car sick pet
Give your pet a light meal a few hours before you leave and them him minimally during the drive. During travel periodically offer small amounts of water. Offering ice cubes to lick work best because they are easier on your pet than gulping down large amounts of water.
Ensure that your pet has the best chance of of coming back to you by having both ID tags AND a microchip. This might be the only chance you pet will find its way back to you should they find themselves in an unfamiliar area.
Know the Rules of your Destination
If you are take a road trip with your pet, keep in mind that not all rest stops and restaurants are pet friendly. If you cannot bring your pet, do not leave them in the car. It is NEVER ok to do this in any temperature, especially in the summer when the car’s internal temperature can rise to fatal levels very quickly, even with and open window.
If you need to run into a store or stop for a bite to eat, take your pet with you if possible. If not, arrange for your travel companion(s) to walk your pet or remain with the pet in the car while you are away.
Secure Your Pet During Travel
Always secure your pet in a hard sided travel crate while on the road. The crate should be large enough for your animal to sit and lie down in. Don’t forget to line the hard plastic bottom with blankets or foam for comfort. Once in, make sure to secure the carrier to the car, otherwise it can become a projectile, injuring both your pet and the car’s occupants.
Keep that Doggy in the Window
Avoid the urge to let you dog stick his head out of the window during travel. Road debris or insects can fly into their eyes, nostrils or windpipe and they can also become ill by having cold air forced into their lungs. Some dogs have actually been strangled by accidentally stepping on the electric window control.
Consider how the Temperature Feels to your Pet
Since your pet can’t tell you if he’s feeling hot or cold it is important to be aware of the temperature. If it’s cold enough for you to need a jacket your pet might appreciate a having a blanket. This is a particular concern in warm weather. Pets can overheat extremely fast so always have an open a window or raise the air conditioning to prevent overheating or dehydration. Make sure it the A/C is keeping the temperature comfortable for your pet in their crate, in the back of a large truck if you don’t have vents throughout your vehicle.
Take frequent breaks
Prepare to stop along the way for water, exercise and potty breaks at regular intervals. This tip keeps everyone happy!
Following these tips will help you have a memorable, SAFE trip with your pet!