Taking off with Fido for a road trip? Consider his pet travel needs before departure
Summer vacation time is near, and many pet parents want their four-legged friends to join in on the family fun. Pet travel can be stressful for both you and your pet, but with some thoughtful preparation, a safe and comfortable road trip can be enjoyed by all. As Benjamin Franklin once said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
Follow the tips below and you’re sure to experience a successful trip.
- The last thing you need is a sick pet as your travel companion. Visit your vet for a medical check-up and to ensure your furry friend is up-to-date on all necessary vaccinations. A healthy pet equals a healthy start to your vacation.
- Before hitting the road toward your vacation destination, take a trial run to see how your pet reacts. Does he get anxious or car sick? Those are behaviors that should be addressed prior to the big trip.
- Invest in a pet restraint, whether it be a pet barrier, pet seat belt or travel crate. Each year, more than 30,000 vehicle accidents are caused by unrestrained pets in the front seat. Allowing your feline friend to prowl freely or your canine companion to sit in your lap is not only a distraction to you, but it is dangerous to your pet in the event of an accident. It is important to familiarize your pet with the restraint weeks or even months before travel time to ensure comfort and adjustment.
- Most dogs enjoy sticking their heads outside the car window, but doing so can cause ear damage and risk of lung infection. They can also be hit by flying road debris. Always keep heads and paws inside the vehicle.
- On the day of departure, feed your pet a light meal 3-4 hours prior to travel time. Don’t feed him in a moving vehicle, even if it is a lengthy ride, as this may lend to upset stomach and potty accidents. And try your best to resist the temptation of sharing your drive-thru burger and fries with your pet… that almost never ends well!
- When packing for your pet, include an ample supply of his pet food, favorite toys, collar and leash, bedding, any necessary medication, and any other items that will make your pet feel at home.
- Make frequent pit stops, ideally every 2-3 hours, for a potty break and a bit of exercise. Don’t forget to bring bags to pick up after your pet!
- During your pit stops, provide your faithful friend with some fresh water. Take along a small cooler with ice cubes, which are easier on your pet’s tummy than large amounts of water.
- Finally, NEVER leave Fido or Fluffy unattended in a parked vehicle. On warm days, the interior temperature of a car can rise to over 120 degrees in a matter of minutes, even with a window or two slightly cracked. As well, an animal left alone in a vehicle is an invitation for pet thieves.
Ready for your trip? What are you waiting for... start planning!
Does your pet have to sit this one out? Call us today to book your pet's Vacation Visits. Obviously, not all pets are made for travel, and not all pet parents want the added responsibility of bringing their four-legged loved one along for the ride. In such cases, please contact Dog’s Best Friend at 805-364-3114 for information regarding our pet sitting services. You can rest easy knowing your family member is being cared for by a trained professiona pet sitter l who will provide him with the love and attention he deserves.