If you’re planning a trip with your pet this summer, you will be wise to know how to travel safely with your pet in hot weather. You’re probably familiar with the precautions regarding vehicle safety. You hopefully already know that you should NEVER leave your pet in a closed car on a sunny day; not even with windows cracked. That may seem like a no-brainer, but think it through before you leave the house. What will you do, for instance, when you want to pull off and eat at a restaurant? Where will you leave your pet? There is a lot to consider.
Summer Travel Tips for Pets
Depending on where you’re heading for your vacation, make sure your pet is up-to-date on vaccinations. Parasite and pest prevention is essential. If you’re going camping, you will need to be particularly aware of ticks. Unfamiliar parasites may pose a threat if you’re traveling out of the country.
A first aid kit is a good idea for both yourself and your pet, especially if you are going to be on the road a lot or doing some hiking in the wilderness. Antiseptic, tweezers and bandages are the minimum that should be in your kit. You may not need these items, but what if you do? It’s better safe than sorry.
Is your pet prone to motion sickness? (Oh, I know the feeling!) If so, your vet should be able to recommend a medication of some sort to help with that.
Before you head out, exercise your animal. Car rides can seem very long for your pet, who has no idea where you’re going and how long it will take to get there. You also don’t want your pal having “an accident,” so make sure to keep that in mind. I recommend not feeding your pet for a few hours before the trip or leaving a few hours after your pet has eaten.
3. What to Bring
Regardless of what kind of pet you have, you’ll need to bring along specific provisions. Here is a minimal checklist.
- Toys (a few favorites)
- Catnip to calm your cat in transit and after arrival
- Chew toys to keep your dog occupied
- Food (you don’t want to have to stop to shop for pet food!)
- Bowls for food and water
- 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 (You know what I mean.)
- Litter and litter box for cats
- Brush and flea/tick comb
- Treats (don’t forget these!)
- Crate or carrier
4. In the Vehicle
Buckle up your pet with a pet harness, which acts as a seat belt for pets. If your pet is in a crate or carrier, then this can be strapped in (or 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 place for your pet and can act as a bed at your destination. In the event of a vehicle accident, pets tend to survive better if they ride in a carrier or crate, sources say.
Let your pet out every few hours (on a leash) to walk. Always use a leash. Animals can act differently in new surroundings, and someone may also steal your unleashed pet. If you have a cat, teach him to use a harness and leash before you head out on your trip.
Updated: This article first appeared on Animal Bliss Aug 6, 2014.
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MY QUESTION FOR YOU:
Do you travel with your pet(s)? Any further suggestions?