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Tips and Tools for Car Travel with your Pet

Tips and Tools for Car Travel with your Pet

Whether you are taking your pet on a short vacation, or relocating long-term there are many things that can make traveling with your pet more convenient, comfortable and safe.

If your pet is used to riding in the car than there may not be much additional work to packing them for a trip, if not, getting them used to things that go along with travel can help make things go smoothly. Here are some tips for taking your pets on trips in the car.

  1. Keep your pet safely confined. Most pets will do best in a crate or carrier. If you are traveling with a small animal that is typically caged or kept in a terrarium, its often safer to transport their cage separately and keep the animal in a small carrier where they won’t shift around as much as the car moves and you can check on them frequently. Cats should be in a carrier and dogs should be in a crate or restrained with a car harness designed for this purpose. Try to be sure cats and dogs have a non-slip surface beneath them such as a bed with rubber backing or grips to prevent them from slipping and sliding during transit which can be scary and potentially cause injury. If your pet is not used to being confined, do short practice sessions confining them and giving them their favorite treats at first in the house for a few minutes at a time and then building up to time in the car itself.
  2. Stop periodically for breaks. If you are traveling with a dog they will need to have a break every few hours to stretch their legs and go to the bathroom. Be sure to bring poop bags along. Cats can have breaks as well, but if you are going to allow them out of the carrier away from your destination we recommend having a harness and leash on them for safety.
  3. Have a plan for your own breaks. In the hot summer months, it is dangerous to leave your pet in the car without A/C for even a few minutes. Make sure you plan ahead for how you will handle taking breaks yourself while your pet it with you.
  4. Bring water and water bowls. Don’t get caught without an easy way to provide your pet with water. Bring water along with you and have bowls handy. There are many elegant solutions for water on the go for a dog or cat from foldable/expandable bowls to water bottle and bowl combinations.
  5. Have your pets vaccine information with you. Make sure that your pet is up-to-date on vaccinations and bring their information with you just in case you have to visit a vet while you are away.
  6. Identify where the vet is located.. It’s a good idea to locate the closest regular and emergency vets to your destination just in case your pet has a health issue while you are away from home. You can even call them and ask if they would like to register your pet in their files in advance to make for smoother treatment if treatment is needed.
  7. Pack your pet their own “suitcase.” Make sure that you pack all the necessities for your pet like you do for yourself. Bring their medications, their regular food, familiar beds and toys and activities they are used to. Think of packing them the same way you pack yourself. What might you need for whatever scenarios could arise?
  8. Have fun! Okay, we know for some pets having fun and traveling are not synonymous. If your pet doesn’t enjoy travel, for shorter trips consider fining a reputable pet sitter. Otherwise, have fun with your pet! We have many travel accessories and fun seasonal toys that can enrich your pet’s vacation experience.

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