Traveling with your pets can be a fun and rewarding experience, but it also comes with some challenges and risks. Whether you are planning a short trip or a long journey, you need to prepare well and follow some do’s and don’ts to ensure your furry friends are comfortable and safe on the road.
Do: Plan Ahead and Pack Well
Before you hit the road with your pets, you need to do some research and planning. Find out if your destination is pet-friendly and what kind of accommodations, activities, and services are available for your pets. You may need to book in advance or pay extra fees for pet-friendly hotels, campgrounds, or parks.
You also need to pack well for your pets. Make sure you have enough food, water, treats, toys, bedding, and medication for your pets. You may also want to bring some familiar items from home, such as their favorite blanket or toy, to help them feel more comfortable in a new environment. Don’t forget to pack a first-aid kit, a leash, a collar, an ID tag, and a microchip for your pets in case of emergencies.
Don’t: Leave Your Pets Alone in the Car
One of the most important rules of traveling with pets is never to leave them alone in the car. Even if the weather seems mild, the temperature inside the car can quickly rise to dangerous levels and cause heatstroke, dehydration, or even death for your pets. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), hundreds of pets die every year from being left in hot cars.
If you need to stop for a break or run an errand, always take your pets with you or have someone stay with them in the car. You can also look for pet-friendly businesses or services that allow you to bring your pets inside or offer pet-sitting options.
Do: Secure Your Pets in the Vehicle
Another essential rule of traveling with pets is to secure them in the vehicle. This means using a crate, a carrier, a harness, or a seat belt that fits your pets properly and prevents them from moving around or escaping. This will protect your pets from injuries in case of sudden stops, turns, or accidents. It will also prevent them from distracting you while driving or causing damage to the vehicle.
According to the AVMA, unrestrained pets can cause serious injuries or fatalities for themselves and others in the event of a crash. They can also become projectiles that can hurt you or other passengers. Therefore, it is important to keep your pets restrained and secure at all times while traveling.
Don’t: Feed Your Pets Right Before or During the Trip
Feeding your pets right before or during the trip is not a good idea. This can cause them to have an upset stomach, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. It can also make them more prone to motion sickness, which can make them feel uncomfortable and unhappy.
To avoid these problems, you should feed your pets at least three hours before the trip and avoid giving them any food or treats while traveling. You should also limit their water intake and provide them with small amounts of fresh water every few hours. If your pets have a history of motion sickness, you may want to consult your veterinarian about medication or natural remedies that can help them cope.
Do: Take Frequent Breaks and Exercise Your Pets
Traveling with pets can be stressful and tiring for both you and your furry companions. That’s why you need to take frequent breaks and exercise your pets along the way. This will help them stretch their legs, burn off some energy, relieve themselves, and relax.
You should stop every two to three hours and find a safe and shady spot where you can walk your pets on a leash or play with them. You can also look for pet-friendly rest areas or parks that have designated areas for dogs. Make sure you clean up after your pets and dispose of their waste properly.
Traveling with your pets on the road can be an enjoyable adventure if you follow these do’s and don’ts. By planning ahead, packing well, securing your pets in the vehicle, avoiding feeding them right before or during the trip, and taking frequent breaks and exercise them, you can ensure their safety and comfort while having fun together.