Summer is finally here, and you have visions of hitting the open road with your family to get away from the daily grind for a while. If your family includes a pet, you need to decide whether she will accompany you or if it would be better to arrange for a pet sitter or boarding kennel
For some families, bringing a pet along on a road trip vacation is a wonderful bonding experience. It’s not a good choice for other pets, especially those who are sick, frail, or just very set in their ways. You’re the best person to decide whether your pet has the right temperament to come along on a family vacation.
Visit Us Before You Go
Dealing with a sick or hurt pet on the road can be extremely stressful. We encourage you to schedule a preventive care exam at Battletown Animal Clinic before you leave for vacation. We will ensure that your pet is up-to-date on vaccinations and in good health to make the trip. Be sure to ask us for a proof of rabies vaccination and a health certificate if you plan to travel with your pet outside of Virginia.
What to Pack for Your Pet
Your family road trip will go a lot smoother if you remember to pack everything your pet needs before you leave. It’s especially important to pack the brand of food she normally eats since you might not be able to locate it while traveling. Try to stick to her feeding routine as closely as possible since stress or excitement can cause stomach upset. Other things to include in a travel bag for your pet include a first aid kit, supplies for grooming, food and water bowls, a leash, medications, and a litterbox and fresh litter for cats.
Best Practices for Traveling
Once you’re on the road, following these tips will make for a happier trip:
  • Build frequent stops into your schedule. Dogs need to eliminate as well as release their pent-up energy. They should also drink water at every stop to avoid dehydration.
  • If your pet is prone to motion sickness, avoid giving him food while your car is moving. You should also avoid giving him any food that you choose to eat while in the car.
  • Cats and dogs should be in a carrier while the vehicle is in motion. If that’s not possible, purchase a safety harness to use like a seatbelt. Although your pet may protest the restricted movement, it’s not safe to allow her to roam free inside the car. It’s distracting to the driver and could be a disaster in case of collision.
  • Don’t leave your pet alone in a parked car. He can become dangerously ill from the heat, not to mention highly anxious.
  • If you’re traveling in a pick-up truck, your pet needs to be in the cab of the truck. Additionally, don’t allow your pet to hang his head out of a window because a piece of flying road debris could injure him.
These are just a handful of common-sense tips for taking a road trip with your pet. If you are considerate of your pet’s safety and comfort, everything should go just fine.
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