So, it’s summertime and you want to take a trip with Fido or Fluffy on board your roadster. This is more of an option now than it ever was in the past given the increasing number of pet-friendly motels available.
Keep in mind, however, that taking your four-legged companion out into unfamiliar territory can be unsettling for them, so it would be a good idea to discuss travel plans with your veterinarian before hitting the road. Even a relatively short trip might be tough on kittens and puppies or very old animals. Other factors to keep in mind before you travel are your pet’s temperament and general health.
A good first step to see if your pet is up to a long car ride is to try a shorter test ride. If your pet becomes upset, yowls the whole time or becomes aggressive, this is a fairly good indication that he or she is not an ideal travel companion.
If you’ve decided that indeed you want to take the show on the road, be sure to feed your animal companion at least two hours before you start. Even the calmest pet can become car sick. You will want to bring bottled water along with a plastic dish, and if it is a journey of three hours or more, then food is a necessity as well.
It’s best to keep your pets in carriers while on the road. Be sure to line the carrier with a towel. A poopy pet will probably appreciate torn-up newspaper that can be discarded after a potty accident. Talking of which, it will be a good idea to have some paper towels and cleansing spray in the car for good measure. And kitty will appreciate her litter box which she can make use of during your fairly frequent rest stops. Disposable litter boxes are available at your local pet store or grocery. Be careful that she doesn’t try to escape after relieving herself!
On the road this can be dangerous. Fido will almost certainly want to stick his head out and feel the breeze through his ears, but what about flying debris or the possibility of being sideswiped by a passing vehicle? If you don’t want the a/c on, the best bet is to leave the windows open a crack so you and your pet can enjoy some fresh air without danger. And most important of all, never leave your pet unattended in your car with the windows up. Even with the windows open an inch or two, your car can heat up almost immediately and your animal can die of heat stroke within moments.
Keep in mind that while traveling pets can become lost. Have an identification tag on your pet’s collar with you name, address and phone number. In addition, it is important to have her microchipped. If the collar comes off, a vet, or animal control officer will be able to scan the chip and hopefully reunite you with your furry loved-one.
Lastly, remember to bring a favorite blanket or toy for your furry kid to play with and take comfort from. A little piece of home while on the road can keep a pet feeling happy and secure.