Travelling short-distance with your pet can be pretty fun, but any long journey can become stressful and potentially dangerous for both you and your furry friend if you’re not prepared. In my case, it’s very difficult to concentrate on driving with my two kids playing in the back and our family dog jumping between the seats. To keep everyone in your car safe, take a look at the following pet care tips for family trips.
Your pet and your car
It’s essential that you get your pet accommodated to being in a car for a long time. Otherwise, they might start feeling stressed and anxious which in turn can hinder their bladder control. If you know you’ll be travelling somewhere far soon, start taking your pet with you in the car on your daily errands before the trip. That way, the pets will get accustomed to spending time in a vehicle.
Secure your pet
If your pet gets restless in the car, it would be best to consider getting a proper pet crate or even a car seat. Of course, you should always pick a size-appropriate crate to ensure your pet’s comfort. If the trip is going to be very long, don’t forget to bring a leash with you. You will need to make stops from time to time so that your pet can stretch its legs and answer the nature’s call.
Food and water
Just like you’d bring enough food and water for you and your family, it’s important to take care of your pet’s needs. Inflatable bowls take little space but they can come in handy for food and water when you make a rest stop. Also, the Nettopet ceramic canister for treats made everything a lot easier, since it kept our dog’s food fresh. You shouldn’t feed your pet just before you start your trip though. Their last meal should be at least three hours before you get going.
Cure motion sickness
Our pooch seemed to have slight problems with motion sickness. This is a very common issue for pets and you should always talk to your vet about possible remedies. After a thorough discussion with the vet, we decided to have him listen to Through a Dog’s Ear CDs which worked wonders most of the time. These tunes are very relaxing for both dogs and humans. On occasions when the issue was a bit more serious, we used ginger pills and they helped a lot. You should never give your pet travel sickness pills made for human consumption before consulting your vet.
Things to bring
Apart from food, water and a leash, you need to make the car drive as pleasant as possible for your pet. In that respect, it’s essential to bring along their favorite toys, blankets and pillows. Whatever makes your pet feel as if they were at home is worth bringing. Also, an ID collar with all your information is necessary – better safe than sorry. If you’re travelling to another country, you should bring your pet’s passport and other important documents. Make sure to check the pet travel laws for the country you’re visiting. In general, you will need to take your pet to the vet to get all the health clearance documents.
Once on the road, make sure that the temperature in the car is neither too hot nor too cold. In addition, you should open your windows from time to time let in some fresh air. And under no circumstances should you leave your pet alone in the car.