Travelling with our four-legged friends is sometimes a necessity and other times it is something we truly enjoy with them. Whether we’re taking them to a local veterinarian or half-way across the country for business or leisure, we need to take basic safety precautions to ensure this journey is safe for them.  There’s many obvious techniques we’re already implementing to ensure we all arrive safely at our chosen destination. For example, as human travelers we’re all buckled up and animals are either put into crates, secured into special harnesses or other devices used in the prevention of injury as the result of an unforeseen accident. It’s just common sense nowadays and in many places around the world, it’s becoming the law.  So let’s check out these other, sometimes less-obvious tips on how to safely transport our pets:

1 - Pit Stop Perils

During long journeys, we all need to stop for bathroom and meal breaks or to simply stretch our legs after many hours in an automobile. Rest areas, campgrounds, parks and other outdoor areas are popular places to stop for a pet-friendly breather. But be sure you’re well educated on outdoor pests that could be a threat to your pets.

2 - H₂O Woes

Also at these rest areas you’ll often find water, shade and other amenities, but when it comes to their H₂O consumption, you’re better off with bottled water. Your pet’s stomach or digestive system may react negatively to some of these unusual water sources.

3 - Travel Treasures

While we’re already bringing along their food and water, dishes and leashes, don’t forget to pack their medications and a first aid kit for them as well. Since we never know what will happen out on the open road, we should always be prepared with basic medical supplies in case of an unexpected accident or injury.

4 - Proper Paperwork

It’s also wise to bring along important documents that prove your pet is healthy enough for travel and up-to-date on their vaccinations. This paperwork should also include microchip information in the unlikely event you become separated from your pet. While this type of documentation isn’t usually required (aka a pet passport) unless you’re travelling outside of the country, it’s still a good idea to keep in on hand, just in case.

5 - Familiar Features

Be sure to bring along their favorite blankets, toys or other items that are familiar to them and have their unique and pet-friendly scent attached. This sense of home and familiarity will make them more comfortable during the journey.

6 - Pet Policies

If you’re staying overnight at a pet-friendly location, be sure to check their pet policies prior to booking. For example, some may have restrictions on the size, breed or type of animal they’re willing to accomodate. They may only have certain rooms available that are deemed pet-friendly, charge a small fee or deposit for their stay. Also, you shouldn’t leave your pet alone and unattended in this type of an environment, which could also be a part of their pet policy.

7 - Crate Critique

Pointers on a proper crate include one that’s large enough for them to stand, sit, turn around and lie down comfortably. It should also be properly ventilated and secured inside of the vehicle so it can’t slide or shift as the result of a sudden stop or when travelling through curvy or mountainous terrains.

In closing, it almost goes without saying, but you should never leave your pet alone or unattended in a parked car. Besides the threat of them becoming either overheated or too cold (depending upon the time of year), they’re also at risk of being stolen. Let’s all keep our pets safe when we’re out on the road and happy travels to you and your best friend!

Article courtesy of Amber Kingsley.


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