Does your dog go wild when you say “bye-bye in the car?” The ears perk up, the tail wags. Then there’s your cat who relishes the opportunity to relax in a moving vehicle. (Wink, wink, cats don’t like riding in the car).
While it’s fun to see the excitement of your furry friends about to go for a ride, there’s more to just loading them into the car and taking off. You’ll want to ensure your pets are safe, comfortable, and secure.
Before you begin your trip, you might want to prepare your pets. Leave your pet carrier out before a trip so your pet can get used to it again. Also, check with your vet to see if there’s a medication that can calm your pet’s nerves.
Traveling with pets can be stressful for you and the pet, but if you plan, you can make sure your journey is safe and comfortable.
Getting There Safely
Here are 6 tips for traveling safely and happily with your pets:
1. Secure your pet in the car.
The back seat or storage area are recommended places for animals. And just like your kids, buckle them up. Or get a well-ventilated crate or carrier ensuring your pet can stand, sit, lie down and turn around. Strap the crate to the seat or floor so it will not go flying when you turn or abruptly stop. If your pet doesn’t care for the crate, consider purchasing a pet-safe seat belt attachment harness.
Also, keep in mind that airbags, while saving lives of people, can seriously injure pets.
2. Don’t let your pet hang out the window.
We all like the wind blowing through our hair, but the wind can quickly dry out their eyes, nose and mouth. Flying grit or bugs can cause further irritation. Besides, your dog could even jump out the window.
Additionally, it’s not smart to let your pet sit in your lap while you’re driving – for obvious reasons.
3. Travel with pet supplies.
There’s a reason it’s called a ‘doggie bag.’ Be sure to bring bottled water, food, bowl, leash, waste scoop, plastic bags, medication (if necessary) and any health records. If your pet has a favorite toy, bring it along for the ride. Finally, don’t forget a pet first-aid kit.
It’s recommended to feed your pet a light meal three or four hours before your trip. While traveling, always stop to feed your pet. Don’t feed them in a moving vehicle as pets may get car sickness.
4. Identify your pet.
Make sure you travel with your pet’s collar and ID tag that includes your cell number. It’s a great idea to have your pet ‘micro-chipped,’ so should your pet get lost, it will help with identification.
5. Don’t leave your animal alone in a parked vehicle.
A car heats up very quickly on a hot day. In the winter, a car can get very cold. According to The Humane Society, the temperature in a car can exceed 120 degrees in a matter of minutes – even with the windows partially open. Your pet can suffer brain damage or die from heatstroke or suffocation.
6. Watch the road.
Don’t get distracted by your pets. It’s not safe for your pet if they’re hopping from one seat to another while you’re driving. While traveling, be sure to schedule plenty of stops. Let your pet stretch their legs, go to the bathroom and burn off some energy.
So, when you follow these tips, there’s no need to leave your pets behind – take them along for the ride. Here’s to fun, safe journeys for you and your pets.