Nothing beats getting out on the open road with your beloved pets. Whether it’s a summer vacation or a short break away, traveling with the furry members of your family can be a fun, albeit challenging, event. In many cases, traveling with pets is easy, but it’s important that you take the necessary precautions first. If you’re new to traveling in the car with your pets, below are some tips that can help.
Keep Them Comfortable
Depending on the disposition of your pet, keeping them comfortable in the car can be a challenge. Cats, for example, can find travel difficult because they aren’t fond of change. Dogs can be just as finicky about travel, but they tend to be easier company. To ensure that your pet is comfortable, keep them cozy inside their crate. While it may be tempting to give them free rein of the vehicle, most animals feel more secure in the crate, especially if they’ve been trained to use it. Crates are also safer should you get into a fender bender!
Make Sure They’re Not a Distraction
Have you ever seen a dog draped across someone’s lap with their head out the window while they’re driving? While it may be cute to look at, it can be quite dangerous. All it takes is a sudden slamming on the brakes to injure you and your beloved pet. As mentioned above, keeping your pet in a crate is the safest option. And if you don’t have a crate, make sure they stay in the backseat. The main thing is to ensure that your pet isn’t a distraction while you’re driving.
Less is More
It may be tempting to put as many toys and blankets as possible into your pet’s crate to keep them company. However, if the crate is too full, it will be difficult for them to move around and rest in a comfortable position. Avoid the temptation of bringing everything your pet loves and go with the ‘less is more’ mantra. The key is to make sure that there’s a balance between space and keeping them calm and happy.
Feed Them a Light Meal
This is a no-brainer but avoid feeding your pet a large meal before you head out. Some owners will avoid any kind of feeding prior to the trip (especially if it’s a short journey). However, if you do need to feed them, make sure it’s a light meal three to four hours before departure. The only thing you should be giving them in the car is plenty of water. Otherwise, you increase the risk of pet car sickness.
Make Sure You Have the Necessary Paperwork
If you’re traveling across states or into other countries, it’s imperative that you have all the right papers. This includes up-to-date health certificates and vaccination information, as well as any other registrations. These will need to be signed by an accredited veterinarian, so you may need to visit easyvet.com a couple of weeks ahead of your trip. It’s also a good idea to find out what other papers you might need at the border ahead of time.
Pack a Travel Kit
Along with your necessary documentation, pack a travel kit for your pet(s). This can include extra food, medications, toys, bowls, blankets, waste bags, and more. You may even want to include a few first-aid items, especially if you’re traveling somewhere remote such as a camping trip.