Traveling with pets can be an incredibly rewarding experience – not only do you get to spend quality time with your favorite four-legged buddy, but you also get to explore new places together, making memories that will last a lifetime.
As National Pet Travel Safety Day approaches, it’s important to remember that traveling with pets requires some careful planning and consideration. To make sure both you and your pet stay safe and happy on the road, the Woofie's pet care team has put together this comprehensive guide to traveling with pets.
Make Sure Your Pet is Up to Date on Vaccinations
Before you think about beginning your travel, make sure your pet is in good health and up to date on all necessary vaccinations. This is especially important if you're traveling across state lines, as some states require specific vaccinations. Make sure you have all your pet's medical records with you, and don't forget to bring any medications or supplements your pet needs.
Pack the Essentials
Just like you, your pet needs a few essentials when traveling. These may include food and water bowls, a leash, a carrier or crate if needed, a favorite blanket or toy, and plenty of food, treats, and water. Consider packing a first-aid kit for your pet as well, including items such as bandages, antiseptic, and any other medications your pet may require.
Choose the Right Carrier
If you are traveling by air, ensure that you have an airline approved carrier for your pet, and make sure it is big enough for your pet to stand and move around comfortably. If traveling by road, consider using a carrier or crate that is appropriately sized and has comfortable bedding, and fasten it securely in the back of the car. Seat belts are also now available for pets so you might want to consider those as well.
Some pets might not be accustomed to being inside a crate or carrier. If this is the case, take the time to get them used to it before traveling. Gradually increase the time your pet spends in the carrier a few weeks before the trip, leaving the door open so they can explore it on their own time.
Secure Your Pet While Driving
As much as we love our pets, they can be distracting while driving. To minimize distractions and ensure your pet’s safety, it's important to secure your pet in the car. In the event of a sudden stop or accident, an unrestrained pet is at risk of injury or being thrown from the car. Keep in mind that unrestrained pets can pose a danger to driver and passengers too.
Remember: pets should never ride in the front seat, as this can be dangerous for them in the event of an accident. Consider using the back seat or use a specially designed seat belt or harness to secure them at all times while in the vehicle – and never have them sit on your lap while driving.
Take Frequent Breaks
Traveling can be stressful for pets, particularly long and tiring journeys. Make sure you take rest stops every two to three hours to give them a chance to stretch their legs, go for a walk, have a drink and go to the bathroom.
This will not only keep them comfortable, but also help them release any pent-up energy. Keeping your pet hydrated during travel is important too. Be sure to bring plenty of water and waste bags with you.
Be Prepared for the Unexpected
Despite your best efforts, unexpected things can happen while traveling with pets. In the event of an emergency, it's important to be prepared. Make sure you have a list of emergency veterinary clinics in every area you'll be traveling through, as well as an emergency kit for your pet.
This may include items such as a muzzle, a blanket, and a list of any medications your pet is taking. And if it works out that your pet can't tag along with you under any circumstance, remember that our team is always here to help with personalized pet sitting services.
Traveling with pets can be an amazing experience, but it's important to be prepared and keep safety in mind. By following these tips, you can ensure both you and your pet have a fun and safe trip, wherever your travels take you. Remember to enjoy the journey, and don't forget to take plenty of photos to document your adventure!