Planning a family vacation isn’t a smooth thing to do, especially if you’ve got a pet on board. You can’t break your daughter’s heart and tell her Fluffy isn’t coming with you to your 15-day vacation, right? Your pet is a part of the family and you just need to bring him along if you are planning on leaving for not that short period of time.
But, bringing a pet along for the vacation doesn’t really consist of just picking him up, bringing his food and starting the journey. There are several things you must consider in order for the trip to be safe and comfortable for everyone.
The following tips may be helpful in preparing for a safe and smooth car trip:
Pet’s safety and comfort
For a pet to stay secure and safe during the trip, a well-ventilated crate or carrier is a must. You can choose among hard plastic and soft-sided carriers or wire mesh. It’s important that whichever one you choose is large enough for your pet to sit, stand, lie down and turn around in. If there is enough time, it would be good to have your pet get used to the carrier before you go on a trip.
Also, don’t allow your pet to ride with his head outside the window. There could be some flying object that may injure him or he could bang his head onto a random sign by the road. Keep him with a harness attached to a seat buckle or in the back seat in his crate.
For a home pet, the stress of being on the road can be tremendous. Not necessarily though will this happen, but you should take measures of precaution anyhow. Before actually going on a trip, let your pet get used to being driven. Gradually lengthen his time spent in the car. It is really important for the crate to be well secured so it won’t slide or shift in the event of a quick stop.
Three to four hours prior to departure your pet’s travel-feeding schedule should start with a light meal. Don’t make the mistake of feeding your pet in a moving vehicle, even if it is a long drive. Better stop, have some rest, feed your pet, let it settle, and then continue with the journey. You don’t want any puking happening!
Leaving an animal in a parked vehicle is one of the most dangerous health hazards for a pet, especially on warm days! If you have to leave the vehicle for some time, bring your pet with you as a parked car can become a furnace in no time! In a pet, this would lead to heatstroke, suffocating and many other health hazards. In cold weather, the animal can freeze to death as a car can act as a refrigerator!
When it comes to food and water, always play it safe. Don’t risk giving your pet tap water from areas he’s never drank from before as they may cause stomach nervousness. Opt for bottled water or tap water stored in plastic jugs. Same goes for food – give your pet what he’s used to eating.
When going on a trip, a pet needs to be protected against being stolen or running away. All pets are wiggly little creatures and they can run off in a matter of seconds. For that, you need to have them microchipped for identification. The pet should also wear a collar with:
- A tag imprinted with your home address
- A temporary travel tag with your cell phone, destination phone number and any other relevant contact information
Just like a human first aid kit, there should be one for your pet. It should contain all his medicine like capstar, vitamins, minerals, and other supplements he normally takes at home. The kit should also contain his food, bowl, grooming supplies, travel papers, leash, a waste scoop, plastic bags, and a pet first-aid kit. Don’t forget to pack your pet’s favorite toy or pillow. This will give your pet a sense of familiarity.
If you are traveling across state lines bring along your pet’s rabies vaccination record. At certain interstate crossings you will be asked to show this proof at some states.
Even though all these preparations seem like a real hackle, they are actually just matters of common sense that you’ll master in a few minutes. Don’t over think your vacation, just follow these advice and enjoy your journey!