Traveling with your fuzzy (or scaly, or feathered!) loved one isn't always a walk in the park. Your pet will depend completely on you in an environment foreign to their habitual life. That said there is no greater fun than having your best friend on vacation with you. Here are some pet travel tips and suggested pet supplies to keep your family's vacation worry-free.
Pack a Doggie Bag
We all need some necessities and personal possessions along on our vacation; this is true for your pet family member as well. Some essential pet supplies may include dog collars, leashes and harnesses, food bowls, dog crates and beds, Frontline, pet insurance information and enough natural dog food and treats for the road! This goes for your furry feline as well, though your cat might need their scratching post with them too. For your reptile, amphibian, bird and parrot friends, you can simply bring their whole home! Make sure you pack everything your pet needs to be comfortable away from home.
Keep Your Pets Secure While Traveling
Some accidents can be avoided by properly securing your pet in the car. Make sure to keep your pet safe in a secured crate or latched in with a seatbelt harness. There are also pet booster seats available at your local pet supply store that you can purchase for added security. One of the best ways to keep your animal protected is by getting your dog or cat microchipped. Your pet's life may depend on you making sure your pet does not become separated from you while traveling so every precaution you can take is wise.
Bear in mind, while on vacation your pet may act out of the ordinary and in ways you cannot predict. You never know what their instincts will tell them, especially out of their familiar environment. Never let your animal roam freely in an un-enclosed or unlocked area and always have their "dog tags" on. Another invaluable tip is to have recent photos of your animals that are clearly identifiable as your pet in case of an emergency.
Practice Makes Perfect
If you have never gotten in a vehicle with your pet, now is the time! It is hard to anticipate every need your animal might have while driving, but if you take a couple easy test drives around the neighborhood you will be much more prepared for the long haul. It will also let you know if buying certain pet supplies, vinyl seat covers and plastic floor liners is needed due to extreme shedding because of nerves or other unfortunate accidents.
Your pet may be use to being fed at a certain time or having access to food at their leisure. They might also be use to being walked or other natural animal processes at a certain time. However, while on vacation, and especially while on a long car trip, your pet will have a different schedule. Feed your dog a small meal several hours before you depart and do not feed them while you are on the road if you perceive they are the least bit uncomfortable with traveling. Do make sure they have plenty of water throughout the journey though! Remember to be responsive to your pets needs as they adjust to the traveling schedule routine.
Leaving your animal in an unattended car, no matter how long you think you will take or what the temperature is outside, is never wise and can lead to complicated health conditions and even death. Take measures to insure you will be able to provide for your pet's safety both while traveling and while stopped!