Besotted as we are with our beasties, we thought it a good idea to pass along the ASPCA‘s suggestions to help keep our pets (and ourselves) safe should any of us decide to take them along on an ambitious road trip this summer. After all, our pets are fantastic company, and really don’t ask for much — why leave them behind?
Here, then, are some traveling-with-pets tips:
- Start your pet(s) on a travel-feeding schedule with a light snack of dry food or kibble two or three hours before starting out.
- Never, ever feed your pet(s) in a moving vehicle.
- Acclimate your pet(s) for a really long road trip by taking him/her/them on a series of short drives first, gradually lengthening the time you spend in the car together.
- Be sure to pack a travel kit for your pet(s). Include any documents or papers you might need (proof of ownership, inoculation and so forth), food, treats, bowls, leads and an extra collar or two, a harness if you use one, a waste scoop, lots of plastic bags, grooming supplies, medication and a pet first-aid kit. And be sure to bring along a favorite toy or two, or a pillow or blanket, to give the baby(ies) a sense of familiarity.
- Be sure each pet has a flat collar (never a choke collar) with an ID tag imprinted with your home address, as well as a temporary tag with your cell phone number and any other contact information.
- As much as they love it, and as hard as they beg (and they will), do not allow your pets to ride with their heads outside the car. This really does place them at risk of inner-ear damage, lung infections and injury from flying debris.
- If you travel often with your pet(s), invest in some waterproof seat covers and rubberized floor liners (sold by auto product retailers). They are well worth the price and will save you hours of clean-up duty.
- Harness – rather than leash – your dog(s) inside the car. A well-ventilated crate is recommended for smaller animals.
- Have a fabulous time. And send lots of pics!
Special thanks MedlinePlus and HealthDay.