Whether you’re moving to a new home, going on vacation, traveling for the holidays, or just planning a quick getaway, hitting the road with your pet can be a fun adventure. With a little planning and preparation, and by following some simple “Do’s and Don’ts”, you and your furry sidekick can sit back and enjoy the ride.
- Do Ensure That Your Pet is “Up” For the Trip
Your pet’s safety is most important, so if he is sick or hurt, becomes nervous easily, or has another relevant health condition, then it may not be the best choice to bring him along if traveling will bring him discomfort. Clearly, if you’re moving you must bring your pet with you. In this case, check with your vet for some advice on making the road trip easier on your pet if his situation is not ideal for car travel.
- Don’t Allow Your Pet to Stick His Head Out the Window
You see it all the time – that dog in the next car over with his head out the window, with ears flapping in the wind. It seems like a lot of fun for the dog, but definitely not safe for him. He can easily be injured from flying debris or bugs. Or worse, he can fall out of the vehicle.
- Do Make Sure Your Pet is Properly Secured in Your Vehicle
Just as you make sure your family is buckled up before driving, the same applies to your pet. There are many great options for keeping your pet safe while on the road, such as vehicle pet barriers, pet seat belts, pet car seats and pet travel crates. Also, make sure that whichever pet vehicle safety device you choose, give your pet time to get familiar with it well in advance of your road trip.
- Don’t Leave Your Pet Alone
If you park somewhere along the way to take a break from driving, never leave your pet alone in your parked vehicle. When it is warm outside, the temperature inside your vehicle can quickly rise in a matter of minutes, even if you crack the windows. Also, unfortunately there are pet thieves out there who prey on pets when they are left unattended.
- Do Pack Your Pet’s Essentials
Make sure that you have an adequate supply of your pet’s regular food on-hand as you travel. You may not be able to easily purchase it along your travel route, and it may not be readily available when you reach your destination. Also, be sure to bring along other necessities such as 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 medicines.
- Don’t Let Your Pet Eat Your Fast Food
When traveling, it is best to keep your furry friend’s digestion on-track. This includes feeding him his regular food when necessary, and not giving in to that “look” he gives to tell you he wants a bite of your hamburger. Allowing your pet to indulge on food, especially food that may upset his tummy, never has a good ending when traveling.
- Do Keep Your Pet Properly Hydrated
You should have plenty of fresh water to take along for the trip to keep your pet hydrated, and make sure he has the chance to drink some fresh water during your pit stops. You can also bring along some ice cubes for him to chomp on, which can be easier on your pet’s tummy rather than a large amount of water all at one time.
- Don’t Take Off Your Pet’s Collar With ID Tags
Don’t overlook the fact that your pet can take off and escape under your watchful eye. You should make sure that your pet’s permanent ID tag is up-to-date. Make sure your pet has his collar and tags on for the duration of the trip; some people think their pet will be more comfy on a long trip if they take off the collar. Don’t forget that his safety is your top priority, so don’t take any chances.
- Do Plan Where to Stay Along Your Route
If you need to stay in pet friendly accommodations along your route, or at your destination, make sure to secure these before you head out on your trip. Pet policies vary by hotel so you’ll want to be sure you find a place that not only allows pets, but allows your type, size, and number of pets. Further, some pet friendly properties have limited pet friendly rooms.
- Don’t Skip the Potty Breaks
People need frequent bathroom, stretching and exercise breaks while on a road trip, and pets have the same needs. Most travel service areas have designated locations where you can walk your pet. Make sure to stay in these areas when your pet needs to relieve himself, and of course, clean up after him when he’s done. Keep your pet on a leash and have it attached to his collar, complete with permanent and temporary ID tags.
Keeping these important tips in mind will help ensure that your road trip with your pet will be a happy and safe one. Do you have any other tips for traveling with your pets? Get started on your search for a pet friendly apartment now!
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