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Cats, Dogs

8 Pet Travel Safety Tips

The Paw Print

Essential Pet Blog

cat in car in its crate

Do the dropping temperatures have you fantasizing about warmer destinations? Planning a road trip is a great way to beat the wintertime blues— but don’t forget about your four-legged family members!

  1. Buckle up

As much fun as it can be for your furry friend to ride shotgun, the safest place for your pet is in the backseat or in the cargo area, ideally in a crate. Pet carrier restraints attach to your car’s seat belt system, to keep your carrier or crate properly secured in its place. If the idea of crating your pet during travel isn’t your cup of tea, you can find a variety of harnesses that attach to the seat belts in your back seat.

  1. Leash your pet before opening doors

Travel anxiety and confusion can cause even the most well-behaved pet to act erratic. Err on the side of caution; always make sure your pet is leashed or otherwise restrained before you open any of your vehicle doors.

  1. Outfit your pet with proper identification

It’s always a good idea to microchip your pet, but when you’re away from home, be sure they have their collar on with tags to display your address and phone number, in the case that they somehow gets separated from you.

  1. Never leave your pet alone in a parked car

We’ve all heard about the dangers of leaving a pet unattended in a vehicle, but in addition to the health risks, it also can attract thieves. Regardless of the weather, be sure to keep your pet with you whenever possible, or have someone sit in the vehicle with your pet when you do need to make stops.

  1. Stop every 2-3 hours for breaks

Make sure to give your pet plenty of opportunities for potty breaks and to have some water.

  1. Don’t let them stick their heads out the windows

As much as Fido loves to feel his ears flapping in the breeze, it’s simply not a good idea to let him stick his head out the window. In addition to potential injury by roadside objects, pets can also get debris in their eyes, ears, and lungs, resulting in infections and illnesses.

  1. Try to keep your pet on a regular feeding schedule if possible

You know you don’t feel quite right when your feeding schedule is off; your pet is no different. If possible, try to stick to their feeding schedule at home to reduce the likelihood of upset stomach.

  1. Ease travel anxiety

Before taking your pet on a long trip, it’s a good idea to take a few short practice trips to ensure that they are comfortable in your vehicle. If you’re concerned about travel anxiety or carsickness, consult your veterinarian. He or she may be able to prescribe something to help calm your pet’s nerves.

Taking these extra precautions can ensure that your pet stays safe and happy on the road. Planning a road trip with your pet may require some additional planning, but it can be a great bonding experience for the whole family.

-Photo credit: From flickr by David Hunt

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