The idea of going on a vacation with your four-legged bestie sounds great in theory. After all, everything is more fun with your cat or dog in tow. But traveling long distances with your pet can be a huge hassle for both of you. However, by taking the right steps, you can pull off a happy and safe roadtrip. Here are 10 safety tips for car travel with your pet!
- In order to safely secure your animal, they can’t be loose in your car or in the bed of your pickup truck. Cats must be in a crate or carrier and dogs must be secured with a special dog seatbelt harness or in a crate or carrier. There is a wide range of carriers available on the market for you to choose from including plastic, mesh and soft-sided. Make sure to choose a carrier that is big enough for your pet to sit, stand, lie down and rotate in. Also make sure that the crate or carrier is secure in your vehicle so it doesn’t move around when the car is in motion.
- When getting ready for your roadtrip, add the following to your packing list: your pet’s medical history, pet food, water bowl, food bowl, grooming supplies, leash, pet medication, poop scoop, plastic bags, a pet first-aid kit and your pet’s favorite blanket or toy.
- Many pets hate traveling in the car at first, so don’t let their first roadtrip be a long one. Instead, let their first drive be a quick trip. Take a few short drives, gradually making each trip a little longer so your pet gets used to being in your vehicle for long periods of time.
- Microchip your pet and outfit them in a collar with identification tags, engraved with your pet’s name and your phone number. Microchips are the only permanent form of identification and ID tags are the easiest way for a Good Samaritan to recognize your animal as a lost pet.
- Bring along a water bottle. Pets don’t keep themselves cool like humans do and require water to regulate their body temperature. Make sure your animals stay hydrated!
- Line your car seats and floors with towels or rubber floor liners. This helps with any water bowl spills or bathroom accidents that might happen on your trip.
- Make sure to grab your pet’s rabies vaccination record before your trip if you happen to be traveling out of state. This documentation is required at some interstate crossings so better safe than sorry.
- Feed your pet 3-4 hours before you leave for your trip. This helps keep them from getting carsick. You also shouldn’t feed your pet while the car is in motion.
- Don’t ever leave your pet locked in a parked car. Even on just a 70-degree day, a vehicle’s interior can warm up to life-threatening temperatures in mere minutes. And in cold weather, cars hold in the cold and a pet could freeze to death.
- Even though they love it, never let your pet ride in the car with their head outside the window. They can easily be harmed by flying objects.
Have you and your pet ever gone on a roadtrip? Let us know on Facebook!