Animals and Pet Care
Traveling by car with your pet
Make sure to bring your pet's food and water dishes, litter box, leash,
collar, blanket, bed, etc. A first aid kit is handy and a bottle of
water from home can help avoid upset stomachs during the trip. Bringing
an adequate supply of your pet's own food is a great idea for avoiding
as many of the travel related disasters as possible.
Always bring your pet's vaccination records, and a health certificate
too if you have one. It's a good idea for your pet to have a check up
not long before a trip. Ask your vet for a certificate at that time.
Bring any toys, grooming supplies, or medications your pet will need
during your trip.
It's a good idea to place an ID tag on your pet's collar when traveling,
just in case she jumps out of the car during a rest stop or makes a dash
for an open door somewhere. A frightened animal in a strange place
cannot be guaranteed to come when called like it would normally at home.
Another ID tag or piece of tape on the collar and/or leash saying where
you are presently staying is a good idea too.
Never leave a pet unattended in a motel room. It could bark, or destroy
property in it's stress at being left in a strange place, or worse yet,
could run out when the room is being cleaned. Should you have to leave
your pet, make sure it's securely locked in a kennel crate.
It's a great idea to train your dog to sleep in a kennel crate at any
time. Crates can become your dogs "bedroom". A safe and familiar place
that can travel with your pet. It keeps them safe in the car while
traveling, in motel rooms, at campgrounds, and at any time you can't be
watching your pet.
Do not feed your pet before a trip. He'll be much happier hungry than
ill. Many pets have motion sickness. Even with a pet that loves to ride
in your car and doesn't get motion sickness normally, during a long
drive, after seeing you pack, etc, he may become nervous and ill anyway.
Feed him at the end of the day when your driving is over. If you're
driving for a few days, it might be wise to make his meals a little
lighter than usual until you've reached your destination.
Do not allow your pet to travel with his head stuck out of the car
window. She could be injured by particles of debris. If your dog's
eyesight is not important enough to stop this sometimes common practice,
just think of how much "fun" your vacation could become by adding
unexpected vet visits and bills.
Never travel with your dog in the back of a pickup truck. The most
"reliable" dog can change his mind about something and jump out. Or lose
his balance and fall out. This is one practice that may not give you a
second chance to change your mind about it.
Never leave your pet in the car. Even with the windows opened a little.
In a matter of a few minutes the temperature inside a car can rise to
over 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Your dog can rapidly succumb to heat
stroke, brain damage, or death.
Don't forget to make stops for your pet to relieve himself, stretch his
legs, and have a drink of water. A nervous dog will pant a lot and will
get thirsty very quickly, and he may have to go to the bathroom more
often than normal.
Traveling with your pet can be fun and wonderful for both of you. Just
plan ahead and leave prepared.