Pets on Adventure: Traveling by car on your Pet-cation
Taking pet-cations with your best friend will make for some fun memories and help bond you to your pet for life. Some things to keep in mind before you travel are, pet safety, a healthy pet, vaccination records, pet supplies and accommodations.
For safety purposes, it is important to ensure that you have the proper restraints for your pet when traveling by car (see Feature article, Pet Travel Safety).
Consider taking your pet to the vet before leaving for adventure, in order to help ensure they are healthy enough to travel. Inform the vet of your travel destination. They may be able to give you some advice on snakes, wild animals, insects and other dangers in that area. After all, no one wants to bring home a travel bug!
Take copies of your pet’s veterinarian information and vaccination records with you. This will come in handy as some pet day cares and hotels will require seeing them. In the event of an emergency, these records will assist the attending doctor. Also, keep a copy of your pet’s license because in a tricky situation it is good for others to know that your pet is verified in their city.
DO A DOUBLE CHECK ON YOUR PET SUPPLIES:
You will want to have the following:
- Pet safety restraint for the car
- Leash and collar, we recommend a harness for pets on adventure
- Name tag with cell phone number and vet information
- Picture of your furry friend, in case you two get separated
- Extra bottled water, food and snacks for the car ride (In addition to the normal amount you would have per day)
- A travel bowl, for food and water
- A brush and shampoo if your friend likes to play dirty
- Toys for the car ride and hotel, you may want an extra bone to chew on while traveling, or some cat nip to help with stress
- Medications that your pet may be taking
- A pair of tweezers to remove burrs and thorns
- Ear Drops, for travels to wet destinations
- A towel and old sheets for the car ride and hotel
- Plenty of plastic bags to clean up after your pet, also a portable kitty litter tray, extra litter and scoopers for cats
- DON’T FORGET THE CRATE. Even if you don’t plan on crating your pet many hotels want to know that you have a crate.
Before traveling, you may want to consider feeding your pet several hours before you depart and then taking them for a long walk. While traveling by car, you are going to want to take them out every few hours, planning when and where to make these stops ahead of time may help.
If your pet sleeps while on long road trips, it may be comforting for them to listen to soothing music. Classical music is relaxing and usually works best. Research suggests that pets who listen to classical music may be smarter and better behaved. Just think, all this time we thought classical music only worked on people!
Pets are temperature sensitive, if you are hot or cold they probably are too. Rolling down windows or adjusting the thermostat should do the trick. However, do not allow your pet to stick their head out the window as there may be flying debris. If your pet must ride in the back of a truck, always use a crate with hard plastic walls that is secured to the vehicle.
Depending on the size and excitement level of your pet, consider stopping every 2-5hrs on road trips in order for them to stretch their legs, go potty, drink water etc.
Never Ever Leave Your Pet Alone In The Car! They can suffer heat stroke, and not get proper ventilation, which could lead to serious harm.
STAYING IN A HOTEL
When choosing a hotel, ensure that they have a pet friendly policy. Some hotels may charge a fee, but there are many where Pets Stay Free! There are hotels that offer packages with complimentary pet walks, pet sittings and cater to pets on adventure by providing bowls, treats, toys and beds upon arrival (see our Adventures and Webisodes).
Upon check-in ask the front desk where the pet relief areas are and if they can recommend good spots for walks or jogs. Be courteous to other guests and keep your pet leashed, quiet, and well behaved during your stay.
Try not to leave your pet unattended in the hotel room, consult the concierge as they may be able to offer a variety of services such as pet day care. Also, there are some pet friendly restaurants that not only allow but cater to pets on adventure therefore, no need to leave pets alone in the hotel room during dinner time (see above section Restaurants).
Most importantly enjoy your Pet-cation you will both be glad you took each other!