Tips for Traveling in a Car with Pets

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If you hate to leave your furry friends at home when you head off on a road trip, why not bring them along next time?


Bringing your pets along for the ride is a great way to have more fun on the road, not only because pets make everything better but also because you won’t spend quite so much time worrying about how they’re doing.


If you do decide to bring our four-legged companions with you, you should make sure that you make things as safe as possible for them. Most of us do everything we can to mitigate any potential accidents and injuries for ourselves and our human passengers, but not everyone goes to the same care when they have pets in the car. Don’t be like them and make an effort to really keep your pets safe in the car. Here are some simple tips to help you do just that:


Safely Secure Them


Perhaps, the most important thing you can do to keep your pets safe on your next road trip is to ensure that they are safely secured into the car. The best way to do this is by placing them in a carrier or crate that is well ventilated and which can be strapped into the car much in the same way you’d secure a car seat for a child. You can also buy straps that can be slotted into the seat belt buckle on one end and your pet’s collar on the other, but these allow for more movement, so if you have a nervous or overexcited dog or cat, you might not want to use them.


Feed Well in Advance of Traveling


Unless you’re going to be on the road for a very long time and there’s no way of getting around it, you should avoid feeding your pets while your vehicle is moving and you should aim to feed them a light meal around 4 hours before you set off on your journey. This will help to prevent any upset stomachs, especially in pets who aren’t used to traveling. If they need to be fed again during travel, try to find a safe spot to pull over and let them eat safely while the vehicle is static.


Monitor the Temperature Carefully


When the weather is warm, it can be so easy for your vehicle to overheat and this could cause heatstroke, and even death toy our pets if you aren’t careful to keep the car well-ventilated. Similarly, if it is very cold outside, your car could become too cold and cause your pet to freeze to death. Obviously, you would be devastated if either of these things happened, so keep the windows rolled when it’s hot and bring lots of blankets to keep your pets warm if it’s cold outside, and never, ever leave your pets in your vehicle unattended for long periods of time.


Pack a Pet Travel Kit


If you want your pets to be as happy and comfortable on the road as possible, you should think about packing a pet travel kit. This should include the basics like food and water, and a bowl from which they can eat and drink, as well as a favorite toy or two,  to help your pets feel more at home. You should also pack leashes, medication, an animal first aid kit and anything else you could conceivably need.




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Before you take your pets on a long journey, if they aren’t used to traveling in the car, you should take them on a few shorter journeys first. This will familiarize them with car travel and build up their tolerance so that they do not get distressed when you go on your big trip.


Think About Identification


If you’re going to be traveling far from home, then you need to ensure that your pets can be easily identified should they get lost. You can do this by ensuring that they are microchipped and by putting a tag, which contains your cell phone number, the address of the place you’re going and other important contact information on it.


Keep Them Away from the Windows


Although lots of dogs seem to love riding with their head out of the window in cars, it’s actually a pretty dangerous thing to allow. Not only could they be injured by objects flying through the air, but they could also potentially fall out of the window if it’s cranked right down and they aren’t secured.


Do you travel a lot with your pets? What do you do to ensure that they are as safe and comfortable as possible during the journey?

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