If we’re about to take the road trip vacation of our lives, don’t we want our best friend(s) by our side? The last thing you want on a long drive, however, is an anxious dog or cat. If you’re traveling with human family or friends, there are enough concerns to deal with. Luckily, we’re here to help.
Nowadays, more than half of animal owners take their pets with them on vacation*. Not only does it save on kenneling or animal-sitting, it gives them a chance to enjoy the great outdoors along with you. If you plan your travel ahead of time, you’ll save you and your pet a lot of stress. Let’s take a look at some tips that will help you keep your furry friends safe and happy, and allow them have a great vacation as well:
Go For a Trial Run:
Take your pet for some short drives, especially if they’re not used to being in the car. Look for signs of anxiety, stress or car-sickness. If they’re really acting up, you may want to consider alternatives. Also, be sure to bring vaccination records and registration. There are a few states that require a rabies vaccination record for animals crossing state lines.
Keep Them Secure:
Even if your pet is good in the car, it’s smart to have a well-ventilated crate or carrier they can travel in. According to AAA, about 30,000 accidents are caused each year by unrestrained animals in the front seat. If your pet isn’t used to a crate, let them get comfortable by allowing them to go in themselves rather than forcing them. Make sure your pet can lie down, stand, sit and turn around in the kennel. If a kennel isn’t feasible, be careful about rolling the window down and allowing them to stick their head out. Not only can it cause ear damage and lung infections, it can severely injure animals if you need to come to a sudden stop.
Bring a Pet Kit:
A favorite blanket or toy is a must, as it will make them feel secure and comfortable. Be sure to bring plenty of food, water and any medications the animal might need. It’s a good idea to have a check-up with your vet before the trip as well. Make sure your pet isn’t sick or in need of care. Try to feed your pet a light meal three to four hours before you leave, and let them get plenty of exercise before departing. They’ll be much more inclined to sleep.
Don’t Leave Your Pet in the Car:
This seems obvious, but is lost on some people. If the temperature outside is 85 degrees, a car with its windows cracked can reach 110 in 10 minutes. If it’s cold, the car can act as a refrigerator. Plan ahead, and be sure that each hotel or resort you’re staying at allows pets. (We even offer doggy bags at check-in, an unleashed dog park at Rushmore Shadows, and plenty of space for wonderful dog walks at our other locations!) Plan on a pit stop every two to three hours, and let your animal get some exercise. You need to allow for extra time if you’re traveling with your animal. Don’t be in a rush.
If you follow these guidelines, a trip with your furry friend can be a rewarding experience. Your dog will probably love going on an outdoor adventure with you. Please let us know if you have any pet travel stories in the comments below, and as always, happy exploring!