With the holiday season in full swing, you and your family may be doing some traveling to visit with family from out of town or gearing up for a fun vacation. What are you supposed to do with your pets during this time? At Drypet, we know that your dog would love to tag along when possible, which means you need to know how to travel in a car with your pet. We have a few travel tips to help you safely road trip with your four-legged family members.
1. Have a trial run
If your dog isn’t used to being in the car, try to go out on a few short drives to see the response. If your dog gets car sick or acts anxious, this will give you time to come up with solutions, such as anti-nausea medication or anxiety pills.
2. Buckle up your pet
Safety is important for both you and your pet. When you are traveling by car, make sure that you keep your dog restrained for both of your safety. According to AAA, around 30,000 accidents are cause by unrestrained pets in the front seat. In addition to causing accidents, unrestrained animals are also more likely to be injured in the event of a car accident.
To keep everyone in the car safe, consider keeping your pet confined in a crate or car seat. If you want to give your pet a little space to move, you can get a pet seat belt or pet barrier.
Securing your pet also prevents them from sticking their head out the window, which can lead to injury. Pets can experience eye and ear damage, as well as injuries from anything outside of the vehicle that you pass at high speeds. Some pets may even try to jump out of an open window.
3. Pack a dog bag
Your dog will need a bag for the trip. Just like you need clothes, your pet will need items during your trip. Pack enough food for a couple extra days just in case you are stuck away from home for a couple extra days. You should also bring water, bowls, an extra leash, toys, treats, waste bags, first-aid kit, medications, and anything else that will make your dog happier and more comfortable while you are away. A kennel, dog bed, or blanket can help.
4. Plan pit stops
The American Veterinarian Medical Association recommends that pet owners stop every two to three hours to let their pets out for exercise and a potty break. If you are traveling alone, you need to come up with a solution that doesn’t require you to leave your dog alone in the car. If you have other companions, consider using the restroom and getting snacks in shifts, so your dog isn’t left alone.
5. Be prepared for the worst
Be sure that you are prepared for unexpected events. Your dog’s collar should have a tag on it with your contact information just in case they manage to escape. Pack two leashes just in case you have a problem finding one of the leashes you packed or one breaks.
You should also bring health and vaccination records with you just in case you need to prove that your pet has been vaccinated or you need to make a trip to the vet. Have contact information for an emergency veterinarian in your destination city ready to go just in case you need them.
6. Find ways to never leave your pet alone
Leaving your pet alone in the car can be extremely dangerous. Even when it doesn’t seem that hot outside, the temperature inside your car can quickly reach temperatures that are deadly for your pet. Don’t plan any activities along the trip that would require you to leave your dog in a car unattended.
7. Find a pet-friendly hotel early
If you are going to be staying in a hotel, do your best to do research early to find one that is pet-friendly. Since not all hotels are pet-friendly, it isn’t uncommon for the ones that are to book up quickly. Book early to make sure that you have a place for you and your pet to stay.
Now that you are prepared for a car trip with your four-legged pal, you can enjoy road tripping without worry. Drypet hopes that your next trip is safe and fun.