Whether prepping for a move, a vacation, or just a vet visit, it is likely that you will be traveling with your pet at one point or another. Some pets love to travel, while others seem to see it as a waking nightmare. Whatever your pet’s disposition, there are ways to make traveling safer and less stressful for them.
Start Small. If you are prepping for a long, several hour journey with your pet, ease them into it. Take them on shorter rides to let them get used to being in the car for long periods of time. This will help ease any anxiety your pet might have and normalize car rides. It will also help if your pet learns to associate car rides with something other than trips to the vet, which can also be a very stressful event for your pet.
Safety First. Take every precaution to make sure that your trip with your pet is a safe one. A free roaming pet in a moving car can be a safety hazard for you and your pet. Your pet may become a distraction for the driver and put everyone in the vehicle at risk. It is best to use a crate or carrier for your pet even on short trips. It is also safer for your pet to be secured in the event of an accident. Also, be sure to never leave your pet in the car for any extended amount of time on a hot or cold day.
Make Frequent Stops. It is recommended that you stop every 2 to 3 hours to allow your pet an opportunity to use the bathroom and get some exercise. This will cut back on unwanted accidents as well as help your pet work out any hyperactivity or anxiety that traveling might be causing. Have passengers in your car keep an eye on your pet for signs that they need a break from riding in the car. Be sure to provide water at these stops and avoid letting your pet eat or drink while the car is moving, as this could cause an upset stomach.
Prepare the Essentials. Make sure to always have food, water, and collapsible pet bowls in your car for long trips. Other items to keep on hand are bags for waste disposal, treats, toys, pillows or favorite pet beds, and a first aid kit. Some states require proof of vaccinations when crossing state lines. While this is rare, it may be wise to keep all important paperwork regarding your pet accessible when traveling on long trips. Ensure that your pet’s collar identification and microchip are also up to date in the event that he or she becomes lost. It is also wise to keep extra cleaning supplies in your vehicle to attend to any unfortunate accidents that might take place.
Follow these tips for safer and happier road trips with your pet.