If your life includes pets, then you know that making travel plans (whether for business or pleasure) includes deciding whether to take them with you or leave them in the care of a sitter or boarding facility. Like many pet owners, you’d like to take your pet with you but don’t know to prepare for pet-friendly travel. Here is a checklist preparing to travel with your pet.
No matter how you choose travel, it is vital to outfit your pets with proper identification prior to setting out. After all, if you should become separated from your pet, their identification is the surest way they’ll find their way back to you.
Permanent Identification for your Pet
In addition to fitting your pets with I.D. tags, your veterinarian may recommend fitting them with a microchip. You can also have your pet tattooed with the National Dog Registry. But, if you decide to use this method to I.D. your pet, register the number or you will not be able to find your pet.
Train Them Young
Training a Puppy for Car Travel provides many useful tips on how to acclimate your new addition to car travel. Train your puppy to remain calm and focused on your commands with practice sessions in the car, and a reward system. If you have more than one dog, train them separately.
Secure Your Pet for Their Safety
Now that you’ve trained your pet to behave in a car, you may think it’s okay to let them roam freely in the vehicle. Not so. Just like people, pets can become injured if the car makes a sudden movement, say to avoid an accident. For safety, it is always recommended to crate your pet.
First Aid Pet Kit
When you prepare a pet travel kit that includes a copy of their current medical records, consider your pet may need first aid during travel. The Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society (VECCS) can provide information on the nearest animal hospital. Also make sure to pack a simple first aid kit, including gauze, bandages, and hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting if necessary. Always take steps to contact an animal healthcare professional first, before personally treating a pet for possible toxin exposure.
Pet Food and Water
Unexpected turns and delays are a part of traveling, so when your plans include your pets, take along extra food for them. A travel delay (or getting lost en route to your destination) could result in your pet waiting an undetermined amount of time for food or clean water. Be prepared ahead of time.
Be Extra Vigilant
No matter how well you think you may know your pet, you never know how they’ll react if they’re startled by a loud noise or unfamiliar stimuli. A cat left loose in a car, for example, may seek safety under your legs… while you’re driving. An irresistible urge to chase down a tantalizing smell could inspire your uncrated dog to jump out of a half-open window. Keep your pet safe and secure at all times.