If you love road trips and you love your pet, it’s inevitable that you will eventually combine the two. And while it can be a truly rewarding experience to travel with your pet, there are a few things to do to prepare yourself – and your furry friend – beforehand.
Plan for a Comfortable and Safe Ride
It’s important to create an environment that your pet will feel comfortable in, especially for longer road trips. Including familiar items like blankets, beds, and stuffed toys can be effective in keeping your pet content. But you must also make sure the environment is safe. If your pet likes to get up and walk around, potentially trying to get into the front seat with you, that can cause accidents and injuries. Using a crate, harness, seat belt, or barrier will keep your pet contained in their safe space.
Make a Few Practice Trips
If your pet has never been on a long road trip before, he or she will need to be acclimated to the new environment. Taking several short trips with the vehicle set up in the exact same way it will be for the long trip, can make the difference between contentment and disaster.
Create a Packing List
It’s too easy to forget important items when you are packing for a trip and this becomes even more burdensome when you are packing for pets as well. A few days before the trip, make a list of all essentials so you are not stressed the day you need to pack. Essentials should include food, water, treats, toys, bedding, a tagged collar, medications, and copies of vaccination records. Your specific pet may need additional items, so think ahead of time and make sure everything is on the list.
Traveling can be hectic at times, especially during the preparation stage. But keeping calm and relaxed will help your pet relax as well. Pets can sense a change in energy and will become agitated if they sense stress. So make sure you are prepared well ahead of time for your trip so you can calmly and happily go through the motions on the day you head out.
Traveling with your pet has a lot of benefits, including saving you money on kennel costs or pet-sitting. But more importantly, it can be a lot of fun! By taking a few simple steps, you can make sure you approach your trip in the right way to make the experience a great one.
Have you traveled with your pets in the past? What are some of your best tips?
Heather Reynolds is a pet lover and internet journalist at Trupanion, North America’s fastest growing pet insurance company. Trupanion offers 90% coverage of veterinary bills with no payout limits. Enrolled pets receive lifetime coverage for diagnostic tests, surgeries, and medications if they become sick or injured.