Summer has officially arrived, and for many, that means revving up the engine and hitting the road. There’s a lot to love about a good old-fashioned road trip, and bringing your best fur friend along should double the fun…right?
Alas, some pets are more prone to stress, anxiety, and motion sickness than others. Luckily, there are ways to prepare for and address these issues, making driving with your pet a breeze.
Before setting off into the sunset, it’s critical to microchip your pet and keep information updated. This will ensure a swift reunion if you become separated while traveling. Likewise, make sure your pet’s ID tags are in good shape and are safely secured to his or her collar.
Research your destination to find out what kind of documentation is needed to cross state lines. You may be required to obtain a veterinarian-signed travel certificate to validate vaccinations and parasite prevention measures.
Our team is also happy to provide you with copies of medical records and to examine your pet to ensure he or she is healthy enough to travel.
The Right Stuff
Driving with your pet requires the right accouterments to guarantee your pet’s safety and comfort.
The backseat is the best place for your pet, preferably in a well-ventilated crate or carrier that allows him or her to stand up and turn around. We also recommend securing the crate to the seat to prevent sliding and slipping. Similarly, your pet could wear a snug-fitting harness attached to the seat.
No Flapping Gums
It’s hard to imagine a road trip without your pet’s head sticking out the window from time to time. However, flying debris can become lodged in your pet’s eyes, ears, or skin, leading to possible injury or infection.
Driving With Your Pet
It’s best to prepare for a long trip with a series of shorter ones. Get your pet used to the crate or harness, and reward him or her for good behavior. If your pet is prone to travel stress or anxiety, make frequent stops, and offer lots of reassurance (and maybe a treat or two). Turn off the AC and roll down the windows to distract and soothe your worried pet.
Driving with your pet is easier when you have the tools to meet all of his or her needs. A pet-friendly travel kit includes:
- Food and dishes
- Bottled water and collapsible bowl
- Waste scoop or baggies
- Grooming supplies
- First aid kit
- Pillows or blankets
Prior to driving with your pet, feed him or her about 3-4 hours in advance to alleviate car sickness.
A Word on Parked Cars
When driving with your pet for long stretches of time, it’s important to stop along the way. Just be sure to never leave your pet alone in a parked vehicle. Even with the windows down, your car can quickly turn into an oven, and signs of heatstroke may not appear immediately.
Somewhere out There
We hope you find our tips for driving with your pet helpful. However, if your summer plans preclude traveling with your furry companion, please ask us about boarding options.
Please contact our team for additional suggestions on driving with your pet. We’re always here for you and your best fur friend!