Traveling with a Pet
Traveling with your pet is pretty unavoidable. At some point, you’re going to have to drive them somewhere, be it to the veterinary clinic, the groomers, or to Grandma and Grandpa’s for the weekend. But what about a long distance road trip? Is it safe to bring your cat or dog along on the road? Sure, its generally pretty safe to do so, as long as you’re taking the necessary steps to insure both your safety and your pet’s safety as well. We’re going to give you just a few tips on traveling with a pet, so that you can be better prepared before the long trip.
The most important thing you can do is take several shorter trips, whether you have a cat or dog, to make sure that they can handle being on the road. Some pets can have anxiety attacks while driving, which spells danger for both of you, others can simply get really carsick. Utilize these small trips to gauge your pets reaction to driving, because you don’t want to end up on a long trip with a sick, anxious cat or dog. You can also utilize these trips to allow your feline friend to spread its scent around the car, so it become familiar with the setting.
The next thing you want to do is consider restraining your cat or dog. I know, they’re like a part of the family and you hate to seem them locked up in a cage. But according to AAA roughly 30,000 road accidents can be attributed to unrestrained pets. You can utilize a pet barrier, pet seat belt, pet car seat or travel crate to restrain them, so you have options other than simply locking them in a kennel.
It’s also important to stop more often than you might if you’re just traveling by yourself. It is recommended to stop every two to three hours, not just if they have to “use the bathroom.” They need to stretch their legs far more than we do, so it’s good to allow them this short amount of time to exercise as well as avoid having a mess to clean up in your backseat. You’ve also got to make sure they stay hydrated, so find a way to get them water while you’re traveling and definitely let them drink on every pit stop.
The last thing you can do to make sure your pets are comfortable on the road is to bring along some things that will remind them of home or keep them occupied. For your dog? A bone is perfect, or maybe some toys that don’t squeak. You think “are we there yet?” is bad, can you imagine the constant squeaking of a chew toy on a long distance drive? And for your cat, you can bring an old scratching post and a portable litter box to make them comfortable.
Make sure you do your research before traveling with your dog or cat. There could be other important things to do that we didn’t think of, but more importantly you want to make sure that your destination is pet-friendly. You don’t want to leave them in your car, because that can be detrimental both to your interior and to your pet’s health. Be safe out there, and think long and hard before bringing your pet along.