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.