We all love road trips, getaways and family vacations, but it’s always a little bittersweet when having to say goodbye to your pawed pal. Sometimes, however, when the doggy stars align – your pet can come along on the adventure. So, we’ve compiled a list of top do’s and don’ts of travelling with your pet to make sure that the journey is as good as the destination, maybe even a little better.
When embarking on a long journey, seatbelts are a must. This rule should apply to your pet too. Prior to starting the trip, make sure that your best friend is properly restrained in either a travelling crate or a travelling harness so they can’t roam around freely. If you’re using a secure pet-attachment as a seat belt for your pet, give your pet their own designated spot in the backseat, fully styled up with all their favourite things. Take toys, blankets and other goodies to keep her occupied while driving. You might be tempted to let your dog roam around freely in your car, but this is extremely unsafe and could distract you as a driver. It’s also important to note that driving with your pet on your lap isn’t only unsafe, but illegal. So, be sure that your pet is strapped in a harness or safe and sound in a pet crate. If you don’t have one of these, why not shop our range of crates and carriers for dogs here.
With the rush of excitement in preparing for your trip, you may forget to pack your dog’s suitcase as well. When it comes to travel, treat your dog like any other member of the family with their own bag of goodies to make sure they are prepared for the trip.
What should you pack?
Set some extra time into your road trip schedule to plan for frequent stops for bathroom breaks and quick leg stretches. Not only will this be great for some sight-seeing along the way but will also decrease your pet’s general edginess in the car, especially if it’s a long road trip.
Before diving into the deep end and deciding to track cross-country with your pooch, make sure that they’re accustomed to the car and the road. Before your trip, it’s recommended that you take your pet on shorter trips in the car you will be travelling in to get them used to the driving. Start by driving around the block and then gradually extend the length of your journey. This is also a great way to check if your pet suffers from motion sickness or car anxiety.
This isn’t a case of ‘maybe’ or ‘only sometimes.’ It is extremely important that you never leave your pet unattended in your vehicle. Vehicles heat up quickly and even with the windows slightly rolled down, there is still a big possibility that your pet will suffer from overheating. Generally, it’s recommended to avoid travelling in extreme heat altogether, unless your car has good air conditioning. If the temperatures are said to be high on the day of travel, try to plan the majority of the route in the early morning.
Plan your trip so that you can keep feeding time consistent. It is recommended that you do not feed your dog up to six hours before travelling. This will decrease the chances of an upset stomach. While you’re on the road, remember that road trip snacks should be given in moderation.
It’s important to keep the window open, but only slightly. When thinking about your pet travelling, most pet owners picture the pure bliss of your dog’s face sticking out the window with tongues and ears flapping in the wind. Unfortunately, this shouldn’t actually be the case. Allowing your dog to hang their head out the window is extremely dangerous. Although they might thoroughly enjoy doing so, they could possibly be hurled out the window or have debris injure their eyes, ears and mouth - which could cause permanent damage. But don’t worry, as soon as you reach your holiday destination, be sure to give them plenty of outdoor time to make up for it.
Before travelling with your pet, be sure to update their identification collars, tags and microchips. In a strange and unfamiliar setting, your pet’s sense of home is going to be lost. To avoid any accidents, be sure to keep your pet on a leash. In the case of an unfortunate event, be sure that everything is updated so that, with some help, they can find their way back to you.
If you’ve found this article helpful, why not take a look at our blog post about senior dog training techniques and tips here.
If you have any question about travelling with your pet be sure to contact us, we’d love to chat! Or, visit our store and we’ll talk you through everything your pet needs!
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