Pet-Friendly Road Trip: 5 Things to Keep in Mind When Planning
Last Updated on December 15, 2020 by Anita Hendrieka
Road trips are becoming more and more popular lately, with people socially distancing and not being able to travel much with means of transport such as planes and trains. If you’re bored with sitting at home, it’s high time to hit the road. And if you’ve been delaying the trip because you don’t know who your pets will stay with, stop worrying. You’re taking them with you.
Yes, traveling can be extremely stressful for pets. However, when thoroughly prepared, you can have more fun than ever before with the four-legged family member sitting in the car next to you. To ensure that your pet will stay safe and comfortable, you’ll need to keep several things in mind – we’ve combined all of them in this article. Read on to make your dreamed-of road trip pet-friendly.
1. Prepare the Car
The most crucial thing when traveling with pets is their safety. You can go in your car, or, if you’re not sure about its state, visit a website that offers vehicles for rent, leasing, or even trade-in.
Keep your furry friend in a well-ventilated crate or carrier – there’s a whole variety of them in the online stores; you just have to choose the appropriate size and materials. Make sure the crate is large enough for the pet to sit, stand, lie, and turn around. Attach it to the floor or car seat, so it won’t become a projectile in an accident, and don’t forget about deactivating the airbag next to your pet. If your pet is not used to a crate, make it familiar with it as soon as possible – let your pet explore the crate, and then go for a few short drives with it.
During the trips, never leave your pet alone in the parked car, and don’t let it stick its head outside the window. It’s better to keep the pet in the back seat.
2. Don’t Forget the Necessary Stuff
Your pet will need a lot of stuff on the trip – remember to pack everything. Here’s a minimal checklist:
- Food and water. Of course, make sure that during the trip, you provide your pet with the best nutrition possible; if you were feeding it homemade meals, look into a dog or cat food – for example, blue buffalo puppy food. Just make sure your pet gets used to it before the trip.
- Food and water bowls.
- Drinking water – drinking water from different areas may result in your pet’s stomach problems.
- ID tag, proof of vaccinations, and medical records.
- Pet’s bed, leash, treats, and a few toys.
3. Stick to the Schedule
Try to adhere to your pet’s feeding and walking schedule if possible – it will make the trip less stressful for it. However, never feed your four-legged family member in a moving car, even if it’s a long drive – otherwise, you may need to clean the vehicle afterward. It’s better to start with a light meal three to four hours before the departure – your pet will have time to digest it and won’t be very hungry.
4. Talk to Your Vet
For the trip, you’ll need a list of up-to-date vaccinations, so make sure to call your vet and confirm that. You can also discuss any possible health concerns and ask for possible remedies. The vet can advise you on the best meds for car sickness, diarrhea, or restlessness: you never know what can happen, so don’t forget to take them with you.
Microchipping your pet before the trip is also an excellent idea. You might get separated, and this would help you find your furry friend as fast as possible: most of the shelters, animal hospitals, veterinary clinics, and humane societies have scanners that can read the chips, and if your pet goes missing and is taken by the warden, there won’t be a problem with contacting you.
5. Take the Pet’s Needs Into Account
Of course, the trip with pets will never be the same as a trip without them. Most often, it will be more fun than ever before, but sometimes it also means you aren’t going to be able to do everything you want to do. Do some research about the areas you want to visit – whether or not they are pet-friendly, are there any potential pet dangers, what are the weather conditions.
It may also be helpful to download some apps, like Pet First Aid App, PetCoach, or Rover, so you can get help in any situation.
To Sum Up
There are many pros of traveling with pets: you’re not feeling alone, your pet’s not feeling alone, you don’t have to pay for a sitter or a pet boarding. It can be fantastic, but many issues can occur. To avoid them, you need to spend some time preparing your vehicle and your furry best friend for the trip: researching the areas, contacting your vet, writing a checklist with all the necessary items.
However, even if you adhere to the tips above, something can always go wrong. In such a situation, look at it as a new adventure. Don’t try to strictly stick to the plan – just make sure you and your pet are having fun. Roll with it – and we promise, you’ll never forget this trip.
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