National Pet Month: Tips for Traveling With a Pet
May is National Pet Month! What better way to let our pets know we love them than bringing them along on our trips? Instead of leaving your pet with a sitter, allow them the thrilling experience of a car ride. We all know how much pets seem to love them! (Some pets, that is.) However, a road trip with a pet takes a lot more than just loading them in the car and being on your way. Here are some tips to get you prepared for the next time you take your furry friend on a trip:
- Bring your pet for a check-up. Getting a check-up for your pet before going on a trip can go a long way. The last thing you need is your pet getting sick on a trip, so ensuring they have all their necessary vaccinations is very smart. The veterinarian can also issue a health certificate for your pet, in which you will need when crossing state lines.
- Go on trial runs. Before taking your pet on a long trip, take him/her on a few trial rides, gradually increasing the length of time in the car each time. That way, you can detect signs of anxiety or motion sickness before taking them on that long trip.
- Plan some restraint. Pets can get seriously hurt when reigning free in vehicles, as can humans when they’re trying to control their pet while driving. A pet restraint will give you the freedom and relief of knowing that your pet is safe and secure. Restraints can be: pet barriers, pet seat belts, pet car seats, and pet travel crates. Make your pet familiar with whatever form of restraint you choose before going on your trip.
- Get an identification tag for your pet. When in unfamiliar territories, it’s not certain how your pet is going to react. In the case of the unfortunate event that your pet runs off, an ID tag is very important. Listing your name, phone number, address, and where you will be staying is an absolute necessity. Also, bring along a photograph of your pet, just in case. It will make it a lot easier to ask around and find your pet with an actual picture.
- Remember all important things to pack. It’s important to bring along an ample supply of food for your pet while traveling. Relying on picking up food along the way isn’t going to cut it, being that you never know if a store along the way will carry the specific brand your pet is used to. Plus, it’s not advisable to feed your pet food they’re not familiar with while traveling. Traveling is known to sometimes upset a pets stomach, so keeping their food intake to a minimum is advised, as well as making sure your pet is only eating pet food and not human food. Packing a first aid kit for your pet is also essential. You never know when accidents will happen, so packing a first aid kit may come in handy. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
- Don’t ever leave a pet unattended in your vehicle. In parked vehicles, the temperature can rise up to 120 degrees in just minutes, even with the windows open. Therefore, leaving a pet unattended in a vehicle is never okay under any circumstances.
- Don’t let your pet stick their head out the window. Many pets find that the most exhilarating part of the trip is sticking their head out the window, but it’s not safe to do it. They can get hit with flying objects/debris and get seriously injured.
- Make frequent pit stops. Making frequent pit stops for bathroom breaks and water breaks for your pet is crucial. Make sure they are always on a leash when letting them out of the vehicle, and make sure you bring bags to clean up after your pet.
Lastly, have fun with your pet! Pets can make better travel companions than people, and they’ll be much more appreciative that you brought them along. Happy National Pet Month to all those animal lovers out there!