Traveling With Pets Can Be Hectic, but These Tips Can Help Make It More Enjoyable and Safer

make sure that pets are healthy and that you have everything you need before getting on the road with your furry friend

Keep Your Pets Safe When Traveling With These Tips
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January 24, 2019

It's always a difficult decision to make: do we take our pets on a family trip or do we leave them behind? When traveling with our pets, we have to make a number of sacrifices in order to make sure they can go where we go. But it's a little more difficult than tossing the dog in the car. You have to take into account a number of pet safety considerations when traveling with a furry friend.

  1. Give Your Pet A Health Checkup
  2. Whether you're traveling away from home for a few days or planning to a more extended trip, you need to make sure your pets have been to the vet recently. If your pet hasn't been to the vet, make sure to get this done no sooner than two weeks before your departure in case any concerns or conditions are uncovered that require treatment or make travel with them impossible, necessitating alternative arrangements. Make sure all vaccinations and preventive medications, such as heartworm and flea-tick medication, are up-to-date. Don't forget to save money on your vet bills!

  3. Diet Plays a Role In Healthy Travel
  4. When you travel, it's important to take an ample supply of your pet's regular food along for the trip. It may not tolerate a change in diet very well if you can't find your regular food at your destination. Keep in mind that water supply varies from one place to another, so it might be beneficial to take bottled water for your pet, especially if it has a sensitive stomach. If you will be staying a while, you can gradually introduce your pet to the new water. Before leaving, make sure your pet has eaten at least three hours before you leave and stop to give food and snacks close to the usual time. Avoid feeding the pet while the vehicle is in motion and resist the temptation to give fast food.

  5. Equipment & Supplies
  6. If you have ever traveled with an excitable dog, you'll know how it can move from seat to seat. Regardless of whether you have this type of pet or one who will sleep the whole time, there's equipment on the market to help you with your travel. At a minimum, invest in a quality crate or carrier, which can prevent injury if the vehicle is involved in a crash and can serve as a bed in a new place. Make sure to introduce the pet to the crate well before your planned travel date.

    Don't forget to take a brush, leash, towels, blankets, first aid kit, food and water bowels, waste scooper, and favorite toys. Pack an ample supply of waste bags!

  7. Special Considerations When Traveling By Car
  8. Frequent starting, stopping and turns in a car can make motion-sensitive pets sick, which is not what you want when getting on the road. Make sure your pet's crate is secured inside the vehicle to prevent as much motion as possible. Never leave a pet in the vehicle alone, especially in an unfamiliar place.

    If you can't secure a pet in a crate, it should not be allowed to ride in the front seat. This position makes the pet much more vulnerable to injury in the event of a crash. Pets that stick their heads out windows can suffer ear and lung infections and may be injured by passing objects.