Tips for Traveling with Pets
Many of us travel with our pets, and like all our other precious cargo we want to ensure that they are safe. Here are a few tips to help keep your pets (and your family) protected while traveling!
1. Make Plans for Securing Your Pet during Travel
Just as you wouldn’t want your children unsecured in the car, nor do you want your pets. A loose pet is a distraction, and a safety hazard. These days there plenty of devices to keep your pet restrained and reasonably happy while traveling. Do some research online into the different types of restraints for pets before making a decision. Whatever model you choose, make sure is well-ventilated, and large enough for your pet to stand, sit, lie down and turn around in. Tip: it’s a good idea to get your pet used to the carrier in the comfort of your home before your trip. When traveling make sure you pet remains secured at all times.
2. Prepare Your Pet for Travel Ahead of Time
It never hurts to get your pet ready for a road trip by taking him/her on a series of short drives first. Gradually lengthen the time spent in the car with each trip. Before you even leave the driveway – both for preparatory drives and the real trip – double check that their crate is secure so it won’t slide or shift in the event of a quick stop.
3. Pack a Pet Travel Kit
In addition to travel papers, your pet’s travel kit should include food, bowl, leash, and a waste scoop, plastic bags, grooming supplies, medication and a pet first-aid kit. It’s also a good idea to bring your own water for your pet to drink because drinking water from an unfamiliar area can cause upset tummies. To make your pet more comfortable and secure during the trip, include a favorite toy or pillow to give him/her a sense of familiarity. In addition, it’s always a good idea to bring along your pet’s rabies vaccination record, as some states requires this proof at certain interstate crossings. While this usually is not an issue, it can’t hurt to be prepared.
4. Don’t Leave Your Pet Alone
When it is time for a fill up, restroom break or food break, do not leave your pets alone in the car. Not even for a few minutes. During the warmer months temperatures can reach up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit very quickly in a parked vehicle – even with the windows cracked. This is a very dangerous temperature for pets and people. When you get out of the car, get your pet out as well, making sure they are either in their carrier or a leash.
5. Avoid Losing Your Pet
When traveling on the road, it’s more likely for your pet to run away since it’s in an unfamiliar location. If you have a dog, before opening the car doors, make sure your pet is on its leash. For cats, they should already be in their carrier making it easier to carry them with you. Make sure your pet’s microchip and/or collar information is updated. It is also a good idea to have them wear a second temporary travel tag imprinted with your home address, your cell phone, destination phone number and veterinarian’s contact info.