Comfort and Safety
Taking our furry friends on a road trip is fun and can be safe. We just need to take some steps to make sure they are happy, comfortable and safe.
Our veterinarian at Rainbow recommends, as we travel, to be sure to have frequent stops along the way so your pet can relieve himself. Older pets may require a stop every couple of hours. Whatever their normal pattern is at home, they will want to do that on the road. Take their collars and leashes since they will be in unfamiliar surroundings. On the dog’s collar write their name, your cell phone number and even your address. Take a picture of the pet with you for identification if your pet gets lost. You want to keep them safe at all times on a leash. A play time of fifteen minutes may help run off some excess energy. If your pet is a cat, take the litter boxes and litter that they are used to with you. You can set it up in the bathroom at night. A trash bag to put the old litter and the box in as you leave will help keep the odor down in the car.
You should feed lightly in the morning before travel and their big meal will be in the evening. The vet also says to be sure that they are offered water about every two hours. Travel water bowls that fold up and a couple of bottles of water should be fine. Most cars have air conditioning today so overheating is usually not a problem.
Comfort and safety are your major concerns. Cats may like the security of their carriers and it keeps them from being under the feet of the driver. The cat’s motto is “hide as you ride”. Dogs may just lie down after awhile and sleep on the seat or the floor. There are also restraints, like seat belts or containers, for dogs. They should not ride in a seat that has an air bag.
What To Pack
Veterinary hospitals, like ours, carry products that contain pheromones to spray in a carrier for cats and even collars for dogs. These are calming chemicals.
On longer trips, you need to map out which hotels and motels will accept pets. Pack some of their bedding, toys, food bowels and any medicines so it is like home at night. Also talk to your veterinarian about the general health of your pet or whether motion sickness pills would be a good idea. It is also good to take along a first aid kit, antidiarrheal meds and a copy of your pet’s rabies certificate.
Our veterinarian also cautions pet parents about some of the hazards of taking your pet camping. There are lots of wild animals to chase that might bite back or lead them away from camp. If you are going hiking and taking your dog, you should made sure the dog is up to the activity and watch to see that his feet don’t get too sore.
Now go and have fun on your vacation knowing that planning ahead will really help. Our vet says that an ounce of prevention may really help make your trip a happy one!
Pictures: Cats in carriers!