Personally, I’m not going anywhere without my pup if I don’t have to. I’ve had the pleasure of traveling with her in vehicles, planes, UTV’s, trains, and more. While having her with me all the time is absolutely worth it, I do understand how stressful it can be. It also becomes very clear that when you’re stressed and anxious, so is your dog. I have compiled a list of some helpful tips to make traveling with your pet easier on you and them.
Although most understand this, it’s still necessary to say: Never leave your pet alone in a hot vehicle, even with the windows cracked. When outside temperatures range from 80 – 100 degrees, the inside of your vehicle can reach 130 – 172 degrees.
Not every pet is suitable for travel. If this is a concern, consult with your vet before the trip to ensure they are in proper shape for a long trip or commute.
Prepare before the trip:
Although it can be time consuming, the best way to get your dog comfortable in the car is with some basic training. Relate your vehicle to fun for your pet. Start by introducing them to the car with it parked and turned off in the driveway. Spend some time inside the vehicle with them.
Begin with only short trips to positive destinations such as the park to start. Increase the length of the trips overtime. Rewarding them with treats before and after can also help to create a positive correlation to the car.
Tire them out first! This hack proves valuable every single time. Prepare in advance and plan a walk, run, or trip to the park before the trip. Most of the time this will put them right to sleep as soon as they get in the car.
Do not feed them directly before leaving. We recommend no less than three hours of digestion time before getting into the car, preferably four hours or more. This will prevent motion sickness and unnecessary accidents. It’s important to schedule bathroom breaks every 2-3 hours, even if they don’t seem like they need to go. Being in a different environment, your pet may not be able to alert you in the usual way so it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Create a travel kit for your pet. Having a kit stocked and ready to go will make travel easier. This will help to remember to bring necessary items. Start with necessities such as medications, food, water, lead, and bowls. Treats, toys, and waste bags are also necessary additions.
Protect your pet and simultaneously protect your car
Keep your pet safe and restrained. Ensure they are buckled in and secure in the backseat of the vehicle. We offer a pet travel seat specifically for this. It comes with a safety lead that attaches to any standard vehicle seat buckle. It’s also large enough for most small, medium, and even large dogs to stand up, rotate, lay down, etc. Adding a blanket or shirt with your scent on it into the pet seat is another great way to keep them relaxed. We truly created this to be the ultimate road trip option for your pets.
No matter how well behaved your pet is, the front seat is never a good spot for them to be. It’s not recommended that a child sit in the front seat of a car until they are 4 feet 9 inches in height and 80 pounds in weight. Your dog is not going to reach these specific requirements which means the airbag can seriously harm them if it were to be deployed. They can also become startled or distracted and end up at your feet near the pedals. Needless to say, that can be extremely dangerous.
Don’t ignore your pets’ behaviors. If they seem anxious or nervous, they are trying to tell you something. There are plenty of solutions on the market to help with these issues. We recommend starting with a thunder shirt and then advancing to anxiety reducing supplements if the problem continues. It may also help to distract them with entertaining toys.
Useful pet travel tools:
Trips with Pets provides a very useful tool for pet travel. They have a pet friendly hotel list which will give you options wherever you plan on traveling to. They also have options for full vacation rental homes and more. Check it out at the link below:
Traveling with our pets may require some extra time and effort, but I think all of us will agree that it’s beyond worth it. Getting to explore and see new sights alongside our best friend is truly the reward of a lifetime. Remember, they might only be here a part of our lives, but to them you are their entire life. Let’s make the years count!