Who doesn’t love a road trip in the summer? Jump in the car and head out to visit family or friends at the beach, the mountains, or somewhere in between. Sometimes we leave our fur babies at home in the care of experienced and loving pet sitters (ahem) but occasionally we want them to be a part of our adventures. More than one half of pet owners take their pets with them when they travel according to AAA. We at PTC Pets have compiled some helpful tips to make sure that you and your fur family enjoy the open road together.
First and foremost, make sure your pet actually likes to ride in the car. Sounds simple, but if your pet doesn’t spend a lot of time in the car this might be a problem. Despite what commercials would want you to believe, not all pets like being in a vehicle. Some get anxious and car sick. Do a test run with your pet to make sure that it will not stress them, and therefore you, out.
Before you go, talk with your vet to make sure that your pet is healthy enough to travel. If your pet is too young or too old, or has health issues it might be best to leave them at home (again, with a fantastic pet sitter). Also, make sure that you have an adequate supply of any medication that your pet might need while you are away.
Check all of your destinations ahead of time to make sure that they do indeed allow pets. You don’t want to get somewhere only to find out that your pet isn’t welcome. Many hotels may also require an extra pet deposit. A simple Google search of pet friendly lodging will give you a wealth of information.
A large number of car accidents are caused by unrestrained pets. Always use some kind of restraint to ensure that you arrive at your destination safely. Pet car seats, seat belts, a barrier, or crate are excellent ways to keep your pet safe and from distracting you while you are driving. This will also keep your pet from sticking it’s head out of the window risking ear damage. We know it’s cute to see those little ears flapping in the wind but it is really not a safe way for pets to travel.
Stop every few hours to allow your pet to go potty and have a drink of water. Pets can become dehydrated from the stress of traveling so bring lots of water with you. Try to limit the amount of food you give them, especially people food. Too much food or snacks they are not accustomed to can cause upset stomachs. No one wants to hear that awful retching sound coming from the back seat. If you can, let them have a little bit of exercise to stretch their legs but only on a leash. Never leave them alone in the car. During the summer, temperatures can rise to deadly levels quickly and we all know how dangerous that can be.
Losing your pet is every pet parent’s nightmare. Make sure that they are wearing a collar at all times with your cell phone number and email address on it. You might consider getting a temporary collar with the address of where you will be staying. Also, consider a microchip so that if your pet were to become lost any vets office can locate you quickly.
Finally, just like you do when you pack, take your pets most favorite things with you. Ease the stress of new surroundings by having things that look and smell familiar to them. Their bed, a familiar blanket, toys, bowls, and anything else that your pet is accustomed to having around will make them much more comfortable.
Anyone with a pet knows how much fun it can be to include them in our summer adventures. Plan ahead, be prepared, and have fun road tripping with your best furry pal as your co-pilot. If you can’t take your pets or don’t think it would be a good idea, contact us at PTC Pets 770-362-8073 or firstname.lastname@example.org and we would be glad to care for your fur babies while you are away.