If you are hitting the road, these suggestions can make the journey easier for animals and humans alike.
• Prep your pet: Travelling can prove stressful to animals, so don’t catch your pet off-guard. Before going on long drives, practice taking short rides in the car or spending time in a carrier. This will help your pet get used to the experience. If you haven’t already microchipped your pet, this may be a good opportunity to do so. This is also the time to ensure your pet’s collar is up-to-date with your current contact information.
• Pack right: Pack plenty of food and fresh water and a sufficient supply of any medications your pet is taking, as getting refills away from home could be difficult. To alleviate anxiety, bring along pet blankets and toys as reminders of home. Also pack a pet-specific first aid kit, which should include non-stick bandages, adhesive bandages, towels, gauze, and your veterinarian’s phone number.
• Follow rules: Do your research to ensure you’re following rules along the way and at your destination. Check campsite restrictions and accommodations. Your veterinarian can be a good resource in learning what to expect. To that end, a check-up is also a good idea before a trip, as vaccinations or preventive medications may be needed before travelling.
• Safety first: While seatbelts alone can keep a dog from moving about the cabin of the car, they are not your safest option. To help protect pets in a crash, anchor a crate using a seatbelt or other secure means.
• Prepare for anything: Even the best laid plans can hit snags. Be prepared for the possibility that your pet will become accidentally injured or develop an unexpected illness while travelling, prompting an unplanned trip to the vet.
Advance planning is key when travelling with a pet. With a little care, you can make your travels with furry friends safe, fun and memorable.