We love our pets around us all the time so why wouldn’t we want to take them on vacation with us? It’s really hard to think about dropping your dog off at the kennel and you see that sweet face begging to come with you.
Taking your dog or cat on vacation in the car isn’t a problem as long as you follow a few safety tips. And if you’re renting a car, it’s worth checking for dog-friendly car rentals companies before you book!
This training is as much for you as it is about your dog or cat. You’ll need to think about things like how you will restrain your pet while you’re on the road or whether your dog or cat gets car sick.
Dogs are usually natural car riders so taking them on vacation may be a bit easier than your cat. If you’re taking your cat for the first time and you’re not going to put her in a crate, get her acclimated to riding in the car before you take a long trip.
Make sure that any pet is wearing a proper identification tag with their name and your cell phone number.
Put together a small kit and think about all of the things you might need for your pet if you’re going out of state. It’s a good idea to have copies of your pet’s health records from your veterinarian and, if you’re using a crate, make sure that your name, destination address and cell phone number are written clearly on the side.
Pack first aid items as well as a nail clippers and liquid bandages. Portable food and water bowls as well as bottled water are great ideas.
For dogs, remember to bring a scoop, clean up bags, treats and an extra leash. For cats, a small pan for litter will be helpful when you make a stop to give her a chance to go to the bathroom.
You may not think about crating your dog for a short ride around town but it’s a good idea to do so for their safety when you’re traveling long distance. If you prefer not to use a crate, get a pet safety seat belt and attach it to a harness on your dog.
Make sure your dog or cat has their favorite toy with them to keep them entertained. Making frequent stops is also a source of entertainment for your dog who can sniff out new and interesting things.
If your cat is leash trained this is also a great time for him to get out of the car and stretch his legs.
Food and Water
Make sure that you feed your dog or cat no less than 3-4 hours prior to your trip. This is especially important if you have a pet that gets car sick easily.
At rest stops, make sure to give them plenty of water and always keep pets on a leash.
Never Leave Your Pet Alone in a Parked Car
On a warm day the temperature can rise drastically in your car even if the windows are open. Your pet could suffer from heat stroke. Per the ASPCA, on a 78-degree day, the temperature inside a parked car can reach 160 degrees in a matter of minutes.
Keep Heads Inside the Car
Here is a hard tip to follow and one that most dogs won’t like. But your dog could be injured by a flying object if you allow your dog to ride in the car with his head hanging out the window.
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