There’s no question that most dogs enjoy a car ride more than cats do. To make your feline more comfortable, leave the travel carrier lying around the house for a few weeks before the trip so that she can sniff it out and even hop in and out at her leisure.
It’s a good idea to line the carrier with a puppy pee pad in case of an accident en route. And be sure to pack supplies for the journey home. The same of course applies to dogs that will be confined to a carrier or crate en route too.
It’s important that a carrier or the pet itself is properly restrained in a moving vehicle. Carriers should either be secured with seat belts on placed on the floor of the backseat of the vehicle. Crates can be secured in the cargo area of an SUV with bungee cords.
There are more restraint options for dogs apart from crates and carriers. Consider a Zipline that attaches to the harness, or, for small dogs, a doggie booster seat that will allow your pets to be securely strapped in and still have a great view out the window.
If you pet is on any medications, pack your supplies in a small cooler bag along with the instructions and contact information for your veterinarian. Because many pets suffer from motion sickness, a prescription pet medication for dogs such as Cerenia is worth discussing with your vet. There are various pet medications available to reduce motion sickness for cats too so once again take veterinary advice.
There are a lot of fabulous travel accessories that make car trips with pets more comfortable and can also be used at your destination such as portable litter boxes, collapsible food and water bowls, and first aid kits. For cats, it’s a good idea to take along an old scratching post that can be discarded. And your dog will appreciate you packing his favorite toy. Don’t forget your pet’s favorite sleeping blanket to provide a sense of familiarity on your travels too.
It’s essential to ensure that your pet doesn’t dehydrate in the car. Freeze a bowl of water and consider adding some travel anxiety drops to alleviate any travel stress. This way your fur kid can lick the ice to keep cool and hydrated and it won’t create a mess in the vehicle.
If your pet isn’t comfortable outside the home environment, consider using a calming collar infused with natural calming ingredients such as lavender and chamomile. A pheromone infused calming collar typically lasts a month. You can also use a pheromone spray inside the carrier or vehicle to reduce travel anxiety.
It’s important to ensure that your pet never leaves home without up-to-date identification information. You might even consider adding a small tag to your pet’s collar with your destination information in case of a mishap.
Many of America’s most popular theme parks have daycare facilities for pets while you are enjoying their amenities. But be sure to book in advance, because the summer season is the busiest time of the year.
And a final word of caution; never leave pets in a vehicle – even for a minute! The temperature inside your vehicle can rise almost 20º F in just 10 minutes, putting your pet at risk of serious illness and even death, even on a day that doesn’t seem hot to you. And cracking the windows makes no difference.