Plan to travel this holiday week with your pet or even sometime during the summer? Before you do, consider making the decision on weather or not your pet is suited to travel with you. If you’re uncertain your pet is ready to travel, please consult with your family veterinarian first. Traveling together can be a wonderful-bonding experience but not always turns out to be a pleasant one. It’s important to plan ahead and always keep the best interests of your furry companions in mind. Preparation and prevention are key points to always remember! If you determine that your pet is ready to join you on your trip, below are some important reminders – Happy Travels!
Healthy Preparation: Visit your family veterinarian for a medical check-up to ensure your pet is up-to-date with all the necessary vaccinations. If you are traveling with your pet across state lines, be sure to obtain a recent certificate of rabies vaccination along with your pets medical records. Make sure to have your pets medications refilled.
Restraining Plan: Be sure to know ahead of time on how you’re going to properly restrain your pet in your vehicle. This is a crucial factor that is not taken seriously enough, both for you and your pet. Reality is that hundreds of pets are injured yearly or even killed because they are allowed free reign in cars, trucks, SUVs and even RVs. The impact this causes the humans is as worse, having your pet distract you can lead to an accident. Vehicle pet barriers, pet seat belts, pet car seats, and pet travel crates are all excellent ways to keep your pet (and you) safe when traveling in your vehicle.
Packing Essentials: Include an ample supply of your pet’s food. Don’t rely on stopping along the way to pick up their food. Their particular brand of food may not be readily available and it is not recommended to introduce your pet to a new brand of food while traveling. Other essentials to pack include collapsible travel food and water bowls, bedding, litter and litter box, leash, collar and tags, favorite toys, grooming supplies, a pet first-aid kit and any necessary medications. And of course be sure to always have an ample supply of water available for your pets!
Remember, no heads out the window! Your pet can easily be injured by flying debris. This should go without saying, but NEVER travel with a pet in the back of vehicle. Some states have laws restricting such transport and it is always dangerous.
Frequent Pit Stops: Always provide frequent bathroom and exercise breaks. Most travel service areas have designated areas for walking your pet. Be sure to stay in this area particularly when you pet needs a potty break and of course, bring along a bag to pick up after your pet.! When outside your vehicle, make sure that your pet is always on a leash and wearing a collar with a permanent and temporary travel identification tag.
Proper Hydration: Be sure to provide your pet with some fresh water to wet their whistle. Occasionally traveling can upset your pet’s stomach. Take along ice cubes, which are easier on your pet than large amounts of water.
Watch the Food Intake: It is recommended that you keep feeding to a minimum during travel. Be sure to feed them their regular pet food and resist the temptation to give them some of your fast food (that never has a good ending).
Don’t Leave Pets Alone: NEVER leave your pet unattended in a parked vehicle! On hot days, the temperature in your vehicle can rise to 120 degrees in short minutes, even with the windows slightly open. This can lead to a health disaster in a matter of seconds! In addition, an animal left alone in a vehicle is an open invitation to pet thieves.