Are you planning to travel with your pet this summer? There are a lot of things to consider as you plan your trip. You probably already know that you should never leave your pet in a closed car, not even with the windows cracked. The temperature in a car can rise very quickly after its turned off resulting in disastrous consequences for your beloved pet. And while you’re traveling, you’ll need to think this through even further. What are you going to do if you want to pull off the road and eat at a restaurant? What if you experience car trouble? You’ll want to have cold water on hand at all times.
Check out sites such as Go Pet Friendly to help you plan for all your pet lodging needs as well as veterinarians and pet supply stores. They even have a road trip planner.
Here are some other considerations for safe travel with your pet in hot weather.
Before you leave on your pet, get your pet groomed. Give your dog a nice, long walk. Car rides can get very long in “pet years” and it can get as boring for pets as it does for kids. You also want your pet to be clean when you arrive at your destination. Many pet owners suggest not feeding your pet for a few hours before the trip, or leaving a few hours after your pet has eaten.
Depending on where you’re headed on your vacation, be sure that your pet is up to date on vaccinations. Parasite and pest prevention is of utmost importance. If you’re going camping, you will need to be particularly aware of ticks. Be sure to check your pet for ticks regularly and have a tick removal gadget just in case.
A first aid kit is a good idea for both you and your pet, especially if you are going to be on the road a lot or in the wilderness. Antiseptic, tweezers and bandages are the minimum that should be in your first aid kit. Vetericyn is an excellent wound and skin care option for all phases of wound healing. (We’ve been known to use it ourselves!)
What Else Should You Bring?
Whether you’re traveling with a dog, a cat or small animal, you’ll need to bring along a few things for your pet’s well being.
*Toys (a few favorites)
*Catnip to calm your cat in transit and after arrival
*Chew toys to keep your dog occupied
*Food and water bowls and water in a cooler
*Leash, collar, ID tag
*A few old towels to cover car seats, hotel beds, etc.
*Plastic pick-up baggies to clean up after your pet
*Litter and litter box for cats
*Brush and flea/tick comb
*Crate or carrier
In the Vehicle
Don’t leave your dog loose in the car. Buckle up your pet with a special pet harness, which acts as a seatbelt for pets. If your pet is in a crate or carrier, then this can be strapped in/strapped down as well. Crates and carriers are essential not only for the car but for wherever you’re staying. It can be a safe haven for your pet and can act as a bed at your destination. In the event of an accident, pets tend to survive better if they ride in a carrier or crate, sources say.
Every few hours, stop and walk your pet on a leash. Always use a leash pets can act different in new surroundings and may startle easily (a regular lead is much preferred over a retractable in this instance.) Even worse, someone might even steal your unleashed pet. If you are traveling with a cat, teach him or her to use a harness and leash before you head out on your trip.
If You’re Flying
You will want to check with your airline well in advance about their specific procedures and policies for pets traveling in the cargo hold. Many airlines will not accept a pet when the temperature is above 84 degrees.
With some advance preparation, you can make the most of your summer travels with your pet at your side.