Going on a road trip
Are you ready to create some great summer vacation memories by hitting the road with your four-legged best friend? Before you load up and get going, follow these steps to ensure it’s a safe and enjoyable trip for you both
Pack a pet travel kit
Prepare a pet travel kit before you leave. A good pet travel kit should include:
Food and food bowl
Water, water bottle and bowl
Pet-safe insect repellent and sunscreen
Blanket and bedding
Brush and shampoo
Flea comb and tick remover
Contact your vet
If it’s been a while since your pet’s last check-up, now’s the time to take them in. Ensure your pet is up-to-date for vaccinations, and ask if additional vaccinations are required for the trip since your pet may encounter different threats, at your destination or along the way.
Also, get a copy of your pet’s medical records and extra meds, just in case your trip is delayed. And take the time to program your phone with contact information, including the address, for a 24/7 emergency vet at your destination.
Update your pet’s ID
If your pet is lost on your trip, you want to find them as quickly as possible. If the number on their tag is your home phone number, this could be very difficult. Take the time to make an ID just for the trip, listing not just your mobile phone number but an additional emergency number for a friend or family member in the area.
Keep your pet safe
Keep your pet safe with a well-fitted and secure restraint. In a survey conducted by NRMA Insurance on 450 dog owners in New South Wales, results showed that more than 40% of pet owners said that they didn't restrain their dogs while in the car. From this group, 70% placed their canine companion on the back seat, 15% in the luggage area and 4% on their lap!
There are many different types of car restraints available, you just need to find what works best for your pet. If you choose to use a crate, ensure it is well-ventilated and secured to your car to prevent sliding. The crate should be large enough for your pet to stand, sit, lie down, and turn around in. If you choose to use a harness, ensure it is a specifically designed car harness and fitted securely to a seat belt.
Prepare your dog for the trip
If your pet suffers from anxiety, motion sickness, or just doesn't travel well, speak to your vet about suitable treatment options. To avoid those tummy upsets, we recommend feeding your pet a light meal no earlier than three to four hours before leaving. Make sure your pet has plenty of clean drinking water available – and that you have backup water in case the bowl tips over. Before you head out, take a nice, long walk, so they're ready to rest and relax for the trip.
Book pet-friendly accommodations
OK you know where you want to go, now you need to plan where you are going to stay. Not all hotels accept pets, and even campsites often have restrictions. This may require contacting individual hotels in advance to find out their pet policies, including breed restrictions, rules, and possible fees. Some very pet-friendly hotel chains, will post this information on their site.
Arrange for pet care at your destination
If you are attending an event, such as a wedding , that will take you away from your pet for a period of time while you're at your destination, you should locate a day care or boarding service. Don’t leave your pet unattended. The unfamiliar environment can cause your pet more anxiety than at home, so you want to ensure they are being cared for by professionals. If you have friends and family at your destination, ask them for recommendations.
Plan your routeYou want to ensure that your schedule accommodates time for regular breaks. For physical comfort and happiness, your dog needs to have the opportunity to relieve themselves but also to walk around and experience the new environment. Plan to take a 15 to 30 minute break every 2 hours. You can also make very long trips more enjoyable for both of you if you plan stops at locations with pet-friendly attractions, even if it’s just a nice dog park.
Get a weather report
This can help you better prepare for issues like rain that could slow your travel, and also to avoid potential natural disasters, such as hurricanes, and floods. Also, take the weather into consideration when packing for your pet. If it’s colder than they're used to, you may need to pack some clothing for them, too. Alternatively If it’s hotter than they're used to, or you plan to be in the water a lot, you may need to pack some pet friendly sunscreen and a floatation jacket.
Maintain your routine
It’s not possible to do everything exactly as you would at home, but the more you remain consistent, the better. Once you reach your destination, feed and walk your pet on the same schedule you would at home. If you can, increase the walk time to help them get rid of the extra excitement and anxiety of the trip.
You’ve taken the time to prepare, so now just kick back, have fun, and enjoy the time together!
Remember Never leave your dog unattended in a parked car. Temperatures can rise quickly, causing dangerous heat stress to your pet
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