Increasingly, when pet owners travel, they’re taking their pet along for the ride.
Some say it’s because they consider their pet to be part of the family, while others say it’s because more hotels and motels are adopting pet-friendly policies.
Whatever the reason, traveling with a pet involves more than just loading the animal in the backseat and hitting the road. The RSPCA offers the following tips to help you prepare for safe and smooth car travel with pets:
- Keep your pets safe and secure in a well-ventilated crate or carrier, or see your automotive dealer for a divider that safely separates pets and cargo from the passenger area.
- Get your pet geared up for a long trip by taking him on a series of short drives first, gradually lengthening time spent in the car.
- Start your pet’s travel-feeding schedule with a light meal three to four hours prior to departure and don’t feed your pet in a moving vehicle.
- Never leave your animal alone in a parked vehicle. On a warm day, even with the windows open, a parked vehicle can become dangerously hot.
- Bring your pet’s food, bowl, leash, a favourite toy or pillow, plus a waste scoop, plastic bags, grooming supplies and any medication.
- Make sure your pet has a microchip for identification and wears a collar with a tag imprinted with your home address, as well as a temporary travel tag with your mobile phone number, destination phone number and any other relevant contact information.
- Don’t allow your pet to ride with his head outside the window. This can subject him to inner ear damage and lung infections, and he could be injured by flying objects.
- Bring your own drinking water (bottled or tap) since drinking water from an area he’s not used to could result in an upset stomach for your pet.
- If you travel frequently with your pet, you may want to invest in rubberized floor liners and waterproof seat covers, available at auto product retailers.