More and more families to day (roughly 50% according to AAA) are hitting the roads with their favorite pet.
Traveling with your pet can be stressful if you don’t properly plan or think it out.
Our pets to day are not just animals, they are part of our family.
So why would you not protect your pet while you travel such as you do for your kids? Of course, you would.
Our traveling pets can have as much fun as we do when we travel or they can be just as stressed as us. This is why it is important to properly provide protection while traveling in the car with pet harnesses or pet crates.
Having your pet properly contained while traveling relieves the driver of worrying about where or what the pet is up to, and is far less of a distraction for the driver. Just like texting while you drive, having a loose pet can be just as distracting and dangerous.
In the article, I hope to leave you with the tools and knowledge you need to safely travel with your favorite pet and both of you will have a more enjoyable trip that is far less stressful.
Prepare for your traveling pets before leaving
Before you travel, have a plan on how you will do that. What can you do beforehand that will easy the stress for your pet and your family?
One of the first things you need to decide is how will your pet travel. Cat crates are preferable to contain your cat during travel.
A loose cat in the car is very dangerous and a huge distraction for the driver. Cats are small enough to get under the pedals of you car making it impossible to maintain control of your vehicle. As you know, when cats become stressed, they like to hide and under the petals seems to be a safe spot in their minds.
Dogs are usually more likely to be let loose in a moving car, but this is a bad practice as well. Although it is cute when a dog hangs his/her head out the window of a moving car, it can be dangerous for them.
Many Vets today say dogs can suffer or be exposed to lung infections by the rushing wind.
When you travel, always make sure your pet is properly tagged. In the case your pet gets lost or separated, this will give you more assurance of finding your pet sooner than later. Make sure your updated cell phone number is on the pet tag.
Pack a bag of essentials for your pet on this journey. Bringing a favorite toy and blanket and go a long way in calming your pet during the motion of the car and it will give him something to play with.
Collars and leashes are a must. Also bring clean up materials for your pet and when they do their business. Bring a copy of current vaccinations is always a good essential for his bag (especially when traveling across state lines).
If your pet is like mine, they get nervous when traveling. Have you ever considered a Thundershirt. A Thundershirt is a snug-fitting shirt target pressure points on the pet’s body. Many veterinarians often recommend this drug-free option for animals that suffer from anxiety.
Buckle up for Safety! Buckle Pets too!
Buckle up for safety! This is a slogan that has been around for a long time, but is still relevant.
Seat belts save lives and so do pet harnesses and crates. It is recommended that cats always travel in crates. It is also recommended that dogs weighing less than 15 pounds be crated during traveling.
If you pet is larger, then consider a pet harness to keep them safe in the event of a sudden stop or quick maneuver. A common leash is not adequate in protecting your pet as it may cause damage to your pet.
Pets (just like small kids) are flying projectiles if not proper contained during your travels. Did you know that AAA claims that about 30,000 car accidents a year are cause by an unrestrained dog in the vehicle.
The likelihood of your pet being injured is highly increased when not restrained.
If your first reaction during a possible accident is to reach for your pet (dog), then your ability to control your vehicle is not 100%.
Another thing to remember is that air bags are designed for humans, not pets. So the unrestrained pet can be seriously injured or worse in the event the air bag deploys.
So for your safety and the safety of all your passengers (including pets), please have everyone buckled up!
Are we there yet?
The American Veterinary Medical Association recommends stopping for a rest and release every 2 to 3 hours depending on the size of your pet.
This is good practice for both the pet and you as it gives the pet time to release any energy and relieve themselves, but gives the driver needed rest to stay alert while driving and stretch their legs too.
It is highly recommended keeping your pet hydrated while traveling, so periodic stops will be a must.
Traveling Pet Safety
Soo many times you will see pets left in cars while traveling with the family. This is not recommended at any time as it could be dangerous for your pet.
Even on cool or cold days, the inside of a vehicle can heat up to a point that maybe dangerous and life threatening to your extended family.
Leaving a pet in the car alone can cause undue stress that can affect the health of your family member. So when traveling with your pet, make arrangements to be able to bring you dog or cat with your when you stop for meals or rest.
Always prepare for the worst and bring the pet’s medical records and tag to let people know where you are in case the pet gets separated.
Where is the safest place for my pet while traveling in a car? The backseat is the safest place!
Either restrained or not, the safest place for your pet to travel is the backseat. I highly recommend a form of restraint for your pet such as a pet harness or pet crate.
You should always crate your cat or dog (if under 15 pounds) during your travels. Dogs larger than 15 pounds should always travel in a dog harness designed to integrate with your seat belt system in your car or vehicle.
Traveling pets can be fun!
Traveling with your pets should always be fun and stress free, for you and your pet.
Always bring your traveling pet kit.
Your travels with your favorite pet will be a happy and enjoyable trip with the proper planning, safety restraint, and frequent rest for your and your pet.
Don’t let your kids or your pets be a distraction from having fun and relaxing on your vacation.
Enjoy as you should.
I hope you have found this article of value and hopefully help you in your future travels with your traveling pets.
If you have any question or comment, please leave that below and I will get back to you ASAP.