Travelling with your pet doesn’t need to be as stressful as it sounds and shouldn’t get in the way of you hitting the road on your vacation. It is never as simple as loading your pet into the back seat of your vehicle and driving away especially if your going on a long distance journey. We’ve put together a number of travelling tips to make travelling with your pet as easy as possible.
1. Get Your Pet Used To Travelling
Getting your pet used to travelling is especially important if you’re going on a long-distance journey. You can do this by taking them on a number of shorter drives first and make each journey longer than the previous so they can get used to being in the vehicle. This also lets you know if they’re comfortable being in the vehicle so you know how they’ll react when it’s time for the actual journey.
This process should be even easier if you already frequently travel with your pet in the car because then it’ll be an environment that they’re already familiar with.
2. Vehicle Restraint
We all would love our pets to have freedom within the vehicle but it’s incredibly important to ensure that your pet is properly restrained throughout the journey. You need to keep your pet safe and this is often overlooked and not take seriously which leads to hundreds of pets being injured each year in vehicle accidents because of being allowed to reign free.
If your pet in not restrained this can also distract other drivers causing accidents but you can use pet seat belts or crates to comfortably restrain your pet for the full journey. You should buy your desired restraint well in advance so your pet can get used to using it.
3. Pack Pet Essentials
You shouldn’t assume that your destination will have all the supplies that you need so you should pack your pets usual so there is no interruption to their routine, and the last thing you should be doing is introducing your pet to a new brand or type of food when its in a new environment.
Other important things to pack include bedding, water and feed bowls, leashes, collars and a selection of their favourite toys. The more things you can bring that are familiar to your pet the smoother your trip will be.
4. Never Leave Them Unattended
You should never leave you pet in the car, even if you’ve left the window down. Especially on a hot day, a car can turn into a furnace in a just a few minute which can lead to a heatstroke. This isn’t just limited to hot weather because in cold conditions the car can turn into a refrigerator leading to your pet to freeze to death.
Pet theft is a lucrative business and leaving your pet unattended in your vehicle can make you an easy victim so you may return and find that your pet has been stolen.
5. Regular Breaks
You need to make sure that you have regular exercise and bathroom breaks, this is even easier because most travel services have special designated areas where you can walk and exercise your pet.
It's important to stay in these designated areas because there is the danger of other vehicles outside of this. Ensure that your pet remains on a leash at all times for added safety.
Regular breaks also make sure that your pet gets a chance to stretch their muscles and not become uncomfortable by being in the vehicle for long periods of time.
6. Pre-Journey Exercise
Give you pet plenty of exercise before starting your journey, which means they’ll use a large amount of energy so they’ll be less likely to become restless and they may even end up sleeping for most of it which will make you journey even easier.
7. Temporary ID Tag
Pets will often get excited by being in new environment away from their usual home which can cause them to run away. A temporary identification tag will make it easier to located them when combined with their normal microchip.
You should include the most important identification details such as address and phone number. You should also have an up to date photo of your pet as this makes it easier for other people to know whether they have seen them and if you need help looking for them. So if the worst does happen you have all the necessary things in place to be reunited with your pet as quickly as possible.
8. Pet Friendly Accommodation
You’re going to spending a large amount of time in the accommodation once you have reached your vacation destination, so it’s important that its accommodation friendly.
You should enquire with your desired hotel that pets are allowed, but it’s important to remember that pet policies can change at any time so if you’ve booked several months in advance it’s good to check closer to the travel time that the same pet policies are still valid.
Pet friendly accommodation will include additional features such as extra grass space and pet beds.
9. Full Bill Of Health
You don’t want your pet becoming sick when you’re in the middle of your trip, so to avoid this you should visit your local vet for a medical check-up to ensure that they have the latest vaccinations to protect them against any diseases.
If you’re going on a long-distance journey then you’re most likely going to go across state lines so you’ll need to bring your pets rabies vaccination record as some interstate crossing require this. It’s unlikely that you’ll be asked for this but better safe than sorry
10. Leave Them With A Sitter
If you find that your pet isn’t into traveling, then don’t force them through the ordeal but instead look for a sitter to look after them whilst you go away. This means that they can have a fun time whilst you go on your vacation. You can either leave them with a family member or a good friend who they are already familiar with, or you can even use sitting site to find a reliable and trusted option.