As pet owners everywhere start to make holiday travel plans, be sure to take some extra time to plan how you’re going to care for your pet if they’re going to be on the road with you. For dogs, in particular, hitting the open road can be a thrilling adventure. Of course, not all pets are as excited when they hear those keys jingle, so you may have to gauge their willingness to travel long before you attempt your journey.
But, for those who do choose to travel with the whole family, four-legged members in-tow, here are some tips on how to prepare for travel so that your journey can be stress-free, fun, and safe for everyone:
- Visit Your Vet – Before you load the car to head out, take your pet in for a checkup with your veterinarian. This will ensure that your little buddy is fit for travel so everyone can have a smooth ride. You certainly don’t want to get on the road and have to nurse a sick pup back to health, especially if you’re covering long distances. So, a quick trip to the vet will allow you to travel worry-free.
- Update ID Tags – Be sure to get updated ID tags for your pet to wear for the duration of the trip. Pets react differently to new environments and experiences, and sometimes territorial instincts may trigger in ways that lead them to try to run away. So, in the event that your pet tries to get away, that updated ID tag will come in handy. Make sure that it includes your phone number, email address and home address.
- Keep Them Restrained – Safety should always come first, and that also applies to keeping your pet safely secure during your trip. You won’t be able to concentrate on the road if your pet is jumping all around the car. That can be very dangerous for many reasons. So, make sure you have the appropriate restraints, harnesses, or doggy seats to buckle them safely in place. But, be sure to test this with your dog well in advance of any travel.
- Go for a Long Walk – If you’re hitting the road, your four-legged companion will surely be cooped up for a while. So, be sure to give them plenty of time along the way to stretch their legs. Look for trails where you can go for extended walks to get some fresh air. You also want to use these walks as an opportunity to gauge how well they’re handling the car ride. Be on the lookout for any signs of car sickness or anxiety, especially on trips that may be longer than they’re accustomed to.
- Pack a First Aid Kit – Every pet owner should always keep a first aid kit on hand, as accidents, whether big or small, do happen. So, gather the necessary supplies, and keep them in your car. A good first aid kit should include bandages, antibiotic cream, scissors, and tweezers. And, be sure to keep emergency numbers nearby. Ask your veterinarian for additional supply recommendations.
These basic travel tips can help keep you and your pet safe and stress-free during your holiday adventures. Happy travels!