Roadtripping – and moving – with furry friends
With summer in full force, traveling and vacation are on the brain. You might feel the urge to just throw some clothes and sunscreen in bag and hit the open road for the weekend, but if you’re planning on taking your pet with you, there’s a couple of things you need to do beforehand.
- Especially if you’re a new pet and/or car owner, take your pet on a few shorter trips to see how he reacts. If he’s struggling with anxiety or car sickness, it might be best to leave him behind with a pet sitter.
- Take his health into consideration. Your pet might have no temperamental or anxiety issues with long road trips, but young, old, injured or sick pets handle travel poorly. Generally it’s best to leave them at home with a caretaker.
- If you’re planning on taking a road trip with your pet, make sure they’re restrained, for both your sakes. Unrestrained pets in cars cause thousands of accidents every year by distracting their owners or acting up. Furthermore, should your car be involved in an accident whether by your fault or not, a restrained pet has a higher chance of survival and a lower chance for injury. Whether you use a crate, pet car seat or pet seat belt, make sure it provides adequate security, but also comfort.
- If you opt for a pet crate for travel, make sure your animal can stand up in it and turn around. Also buy it several weeks in advance, to give your furry friend time to get accustomed to it. If he’s got a favorite blanket or pillow, put it in the crate with him, along with a chew toy or two.
- While you might be able to drive for hours upon hours without stopping, your pet isn’t. The American Veterinary Medical Association recommends stopping every two-three hours so your pet can go to the bathroom, get some exercise, eat and drink.
- Be prepared. Have current photo of your pet on hand, should he get lost. Also bring his medical records (or copies) with you in case of emergencies. Make sure you have evidence of your pet’s vaccination on hand as well.
- Before you take off, exercise and play with your animal. Not only will that make him feel loved and secure, but it will also tire him out, increasing the chances of him sleeping through the trip.
- Check well in advance if your destination is pet friendly. Not all hotels allow pets to check in and many heavy weight and breed restrictions.
- Whether you go on vacation with your pet or leave him in the acre of a pet sitter, make sure your renters insurance is up to date. Should your dog sitter slip and fall at your residence or a storm hurl a branch through your window into your TV, Resident Shield has your back, so you (and your four-legged companion) can enjoy a carefree and fun vacation.