Whether tagging along during a business trip or joining the family on vacation, Fido is a cherished companion. Traveling with pets is part of the adventure and should be considered wherever possible; plus, you don’t want to leave them home alone or put them up in a kennel, do you?
There are a handle of things to keep in mind if you’re taking a road trip with your pet. Comfort, safety, security, and enjoyment — your pet deserves them too!
ID Your Cat or Dog
They can’t speak for themselves. If your pets get lost on a road trip with no ID, you should know there’s little to no chance of getting them back. Ideally, your pet should be microchipped for easy identification. You should also equip your cat or dog with a collar and imprinted tags with your name, phone number, and other relevant contact information.
Reserve Pet-Friendly Hotels
Many hotel chains have pet-friendly rooms you can book if you’re traveling for more than one day. Call ahead to double-check, and book a room where your pet can join you in the accommodations. Note that you might be required to kennel your pets while they are inside the hotel room; inquire about the rules before you leave home.
Get Ready for a Long Drive
Yes, that means a good, long walk to get their business done before you hit the road. Also, make sure you pack items your pets would need for the length of your road trip. Bring pet food in a sealed container (it gets ripe in the car otherwise), water for the trip, and enough toys to keep them content during the drive.
Make the Trip Comfy for Everyone
When you get in the car for a cross-country trek, keep in mind that your cat or dog needs to be cozy for long distances. Bring pet beds or a crate they can use, and place them in a shaded area. Direct sunlight can make your pet overheated; trust me – you don’t want to contend with a car-sick animal.
Keep Your Pet Secure
A well-ventilated crate or pet carrier isn’t considered imprisonment by your cat or dog. They are den animals and typically like those spaces. Put a pet bed inside for comfort, and make sure you secure the crate with a strap or seatbelt in the event of an accident.
Avoid a mess inside your car, and prevent discomfort for your cat or dog. Make regular stops along your route to let Milo and Otis relieve themselves and stretch their legs, and let them rehydrate (but not too much). Break time is also a good chance for you to work out your own kinks.
Bring a Pet-Friendly Travel Kit
It’s not just about being in the car. You should always bring items that make a hotel room feel like home. Pack a pet grooming brush, a few yummy treats, and a couple of their favorite toys to prevent the stress of a new place, and include a basic first aid kit, and potential pet medications, as well.
Never Leave Your Pet in Your Hot or Cold Car
Depending on the season and the time of day, your car’s interior can cool off very quickly or heat up intensely in just a few minutes. Whether you’re headed to a restaurant for a bite to eat or stopping for the night, don’t leave your cat or dog in the car with the engine off. If you have a remote starter, you can start the engine for your pet to keep the interior temperature regulated comfortably. Otherwise, your pet should come with you.
Traveling with pets can be a great experience for both you and your pet. A little planning ahead will help make your road trip a smashing success!
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