Keeping Comfortable on the Road with Four-Legged Friends
According to the U.S. Travel Association, around 18% of American travelers take their pets with them on vacation. This adds up to a lot of road time for many of our four legged friends, but there are some definite issues that can accompany those who travel with pets. If you are looking for a way to make your journey go more smoothly, a little planning can really make you, your family and Fido enjoy your trip, not dread the upcoming departure date.
Use a good quality crate. While not all states require that your pet be restrained while in the vehicle, there are some definite advantages. Not only will your animal be in a safe place should you have an accident, it can prevent you from having one in the first place. In addition, some pets get carsick and this is a good way to keep them from puking all over your lap. It is recommended that you do not feed your dogs within four hours of driving, as this is far more likely to upset their stomach and they will leave a nice mess in your vehicle.
Be sure that the crate offers enough room for your animal to lie down, stand up and sit comfortably. Also, the ASPCA recommends that you have your pet get used to using the crate before your road trip, so you may want to try short trips once a day for practice.
Another good piece of advice is to get your animal a microchip I.D. This is one of the very few fool-proof methods of recovering your animal should they ever get lost, and it is actually very inexpensive. Your veterinarian or even animal control officer may have the device that they can implant quickly and easily under your animal’s skin. Should your pet get lost while you are traveling it will be far easier to find them if they have all of the information they need in their microchip.
Keep your pet’s shot records on hand, especially those for rabies. Some national parks may require that your pet have this type of data before they are allowed in. In addition to the shot records, keep a basic travel kit for your pet that includes all the items you need for grooming or medication and keep this on hand. Assume you won’t be able to find the pet care items you need while on the road and just take your own.