How To Travel Safely With Your Pet

Tips For Safe Pet Travel

Camping with your dogSummertime is almost over but there are still plenty of weekends to pack up the kids and take off on a road trip adventure.  Suitcases are packed and snacks and drinks are ready in the car.  But what about your pet?  Surely you’re not going to leave it behind.  Of course not!  But just as you prepared for a comfortable and safe trip for your family members, you need to do the same to ensure safe travel for your pet.

Before You Leave

There are some basic things that you need to gather before you set off on a trip of any length with your pet.

  • Make sure your pet’s vaccinations are up to date and you have a copy of its health records, especially its rabies vaccination.
  • A name tag for the collar is essential.  It should contain contact information, especially your cell phone number.  A picture of your pet is also a good idea if it happens to get lost.
  • If your pet is not healthy, or is too old, it might be kinder to put it in a kennel for the duration of your trip.  Another choice is a pet sitter.  They come to your house at established intervals to feed and water your pet.  If your pet needs walking, they will do that too.
  • If you are going to a motel or a campground, check ahead to see what their pet regulations are.  This is critical if you are traveling with your pet on an airplane.  You will surely need some type of pet carrier.
  • You should have a basic first aid kit for your pet.  Antiseptic ointment, bandages, tweezers and eye drops should be included.  If you are going to be in an area where there are lots of ticks and fleas, an application of an  insect repellant would be prudent.

While You Travel

Dog HarnessHere are some things to consider on the trip itself.

  • Your pet must be restrained in your car.  There are many styles of harnesses for dogs.  A harness will allow your pet to look out the window and to move around a bit. Cats will do better in crates.  However, even if your pet is secured in a crate, the crate itself must be anchored to something stationary in the car.
  • Do not allow your pet to hang its head out the window.  It could easily be hurt by some object outside the car, not to mention the bugs that could fly into its eyes.
  • Make frequent stops to allow your pet some exercise and also to “take care of business”.  Of course this involves cleanup too, so be sure to bring a pooper scooper and plastic bags.
  • Provide moderate food and water for your pet.  It’s best if you use bottled water or bring some of your own water in a jug.  Many pets react negatively to water that they are not used to drinking.
  • If your pet does tend to get carsick, you can install seat protectors which are easy to clean.  Don’t forget to bring some type of spray cleaner and plenty of paper towels to make the job easier.
  • Be sure to bring a leash so your pet doesn’t run away when you let it out of the car.

When You Arrive

When you reach your destination, you want your pet to be comfortable and relaxed in its new surroundings.  Try these following tips.

  • Bring your pet’s own food and water.  Now is not the time to start a new food regimen. You may want to try new recipes on your outdoor grill, but your special friend will do best on the “tried and true” menu.
  • Having its own pet bed goes a long way to getting your pet to settle down at night.
  • Likewise, having its special blanket and a few familiar toys helps to ensure that your pet enjoys its trip.
  • If you are staying in a motel, you will probably have to restrain your pet in a carrier.  If you have to leave your pet in the room for a short time, put the “Do Not Disturb” sign out.  You don’t want the housekeeping staff to startle your pet.  It’s a good idea to notify the front desk too.
  • If you are camping, whether in a RV or a tent, you can attach a long leash to your pet’s harness and put its water just at the end of the length of the leash so it can’t knock it over.  Some family camping tents have multiple rooms and even a screened outdoor room, making it easier to corral your pet at night.

You and your family pet will have a wonderful trip if you just follow these tips for safe travel. It only takes a little preparation to make sure your pet has a safe and comfortable trip. Author Bio:  Stephanie is the publisher of Always-Outdoors.  She has many articles of interest for outdoor enthusiasts, including a review of the best birding binoculars that she has found.  Stephanie lives near the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia where she enjoys hiking and photographing the scenery.

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