30 May How to Plan a Road Trip With Your Pet
Embarking on a journey can be hectic. There are numerous circumstances to plan for, not to mention the challenges posed by managing multiple people. Animals are often great traveling companions, so a road trip with your pet instead of a crowded party might not be a bad idea. However, if you’re someone who plans to do so, there are some things to bear in mind. Here’s how to plan a road trip with your pet in tow:
Your Pet and Comfort in the Car
It is important to note that the journey will be stressful if your pet is not accustomed to a car. Prior to making a big trip, take your pet out for smaller drives so they can get used to the environment of a vehicle and become comfortable traveling in it. Carry their favorite toys and treats and sit in a stationary car so they can relax without the stress of traveling. By extension, crate training is required for your pet, as they will be spending considerable amounts of time in it. Follow the same process of acclimation as the car; start small, give them love and treats for interacting with the crate freely, take them on shorter journeys before going on a long one, and leave their favorite toy with them.
Making Sure They are Safe & Secure
While you may want your pet to roam freely inside the cabin, jumping from seat to seat and enjoying themselves, the reality is that this is not as safe as it sounds. A cat, for example, cannot be left unrestrained and must be in a crate or carrier. A free cat or dog inside can deviate your focus from the road, which is not a good thing. Smaller dogs should also be carried in crates. If you have a larger dog who isn’t comfortable in a crate, belt them in their seat and attach their leash to the belt or a secure location. A pup poking its head outside a window is adorable but can be dangerous as well.
Rest Stops and Accommodation
Before embarking on any journey, it is crucial to plan your rest and refreshment stops accordingly. Make sure to check whether the rest stop/hotel/staying accommodation is pet-friendly, cozy and clean. Calling the property is always advised to get up-to-date information and avoid a situation where you are denied a booking due to out-of-date information on their end. While stopping for bathroom breaks or fuel stops, make sure your pet is secure before opening any doors or windows and is leashed inside the car. New sights and smells may overwhelm your pet in an unfamiliar setting, so remember to be patient and caring with them. Make sure to also carry some dry food with you, in case the eating services are not up to par.
Prepare a First Aid/Pet Safety Kit
Make sure to carry all the essentials your pet needs, as there is no knowing when you may come across supplies while on the road. Carry first aid, collars, leashes, water bottles and bowls, toys, and a litter tray in the case of a cat. Bring along a spare pillow or blanket for them to sprawl on inside the car when out of their crate. As a safety precaution, schedule a visit with your vet for a pre-travel checkup.
Preparing for Unexpected Circumstances
While an emergency is something no pet parent wants to think of, it is always better to be prepared for any circumstance and all eventualities, especially when your fur baby is involved. Make sure your pet has physical identification, like their nametag on their collar, and is microchipped with their vaccination records and health history updated.