Sometimes the family vacation is just not complete if our favorite four legged friends are missing from the group. Road trips with the family can turn stressful if we don’t prepare for them. That is even truer once we include our pets on the trip. There are a few things to remember if you want a road trip with your family, including your pets, to be as safe and as comfortable as possible.
If your pet has never taken a ride in the car, you may not want a long road trip to be his first experience. Take your pet on a few short practice trips before you embark on a long journey with the family. This will help him feel more comfortable when you take him on that longer trip.
Always travel with your cat in a travel carrier. If possible, have your dog ride in a crate. Dogs should be able to stand up, lie down and turn around in their crate. Any carrier or crate used for travel should be secured to prevent sliding in the case of an accident or quick stop. If the size of your car and your dog does not allow for crate travel, dogs should be in a harness that attaches to a safety belt. I know, this is not a dog’s idea of a good time, but he will be a lot safer this way. Next you can rain on your dog’s parade by preventing him from riding with his head out the window. Another bummer for Spot, but this is a dangerous practice as he could be injured by debris.
Feed your pet 3-4 hours before departing and never feed your pet in a moving vehicle. Even animals can be affected by car sickness and the last thing you want to do on a fun family road trip is clean vomit from your shoes.
Make sure your pet has an up to date tag on his collar including his name, address and phone number. Consider micro chipping your pet before the trip if you have not done so already. In this way you can be sure of your pet’s safe return should you become separated.
Never leave your pet in a parked car. Even during moderately warm weather a car can heat up to dangerous temperatures and cause life threatening heat stroke.
With a little preparation, a family road trip with your pet can be a rewarding and memorable experience.