Traveling with your pet? Don’t forget to pack a bag for Fido!
With summer vacation just around the corner, lots of people are eagerly looking forward to a family vacation. What could be more fun than including your furry friend in your summer getaway? If your summer travel plans include a road trip with your four-legged family member, a little advance planning can make your vacation go more smoothly.
Unless the only time your dog travels by car is for the dreaded trip to the veterinarian, most dogs enjoy traveling in the car with you. However, a frightened, anxious or overly-excited pet is not a good travel companion so get your dog acclimated with regular car rides well before your upcoming vacation. Schedule a few short car trips to someplace fun like the dog park, and gradually increase the length of the drive. Be sure to reward your dog with treats for good behavior.
According to the CDC, driver distraction is the number one cause of automobile accidents; even the most well-behaved pet if unrestrained can become a distraction while driving. Always make sure your pet is properly restrained during car travel. There are lots of options for keeping your pet safe in the car, such as a well-ventilated pet carrier that’s securely fastened inside the automobile. You can also consider other options such as a dog car seat, a pet barrier, or a seat belt restraint system. It can be disastrous if your dog wanders off during a travel pit stop, so make sure your pet always wears current identification while you’re traveling.
Just as you pack your bags for your vacation, be sure to put together a traveling bag for your dog. You’ll need to bring a supply of your dog’s regular food, and if you’re traveling out of the area, many dogs do best with a supply of bottled water or water that they are used to. You can make traveling simple with a pet travel set such as the Solvit HomeAway Travel Organizer Kit for Pets. It includes a 10-cup storage bag for food, a one-liter water bottle, and two collapsible food and water bowls. It comes packed in an organizer bag which even has a built-in “poopy-bag” dispenser. Use the organizer bag to carry supplies such as a leash, toys, brush and pet blanket. Even if you have no travel plans, you can keep this bag handy to use in case of an emergency evacuation.
With just a little advance preparation, you can make sure that your pet is safe and comfortable while traveling.