As a pet owner and lover, traveling with pets shouldn’t be such an uphill task. Ideally, this should be one way of spending quality time with your furry friend(s). Some pets are known to have a natural phobia of being in transit.

You can change this narrative and make traveling quite enjoyable for your pets using these practical tips. Your pets will be assured of unmatched comfort and calm throughout the trip.

1.   Get a Pet-friendly Crate or Carrier

A well-ventilated carrier is a must-have for anyone who’s always on the road with pets. Letting your pets roam wild and free in the car could pose a risk for both you and your pet.

Since we’re talking about comfort, space is paramount to avoid your pet feeling caged. Get a carrier or crate that’s big enough for your pet to move around and feel at home. You can even choose from a variety of dog harnesses that will give you greater control over directing movement by controlling your pet.

Wire dog crates come along with a vast array of benefits for you and your pet;

  • They provide maximum security even when your pet appears to be in its helpless state.
  • Easy to clean.
  • Foldable to a size that’s convenient for your pet.
  • Easily portable.

There are many kinds of crates available that suit your preference.  Wooden and plastic are great options if you’d like to have a feel of other crate options.

2.   Pack a Travel Kit for Your Pet

It doesn’t matter whether your journey takes a few hours or a couple of days. Your pet will need the essentials necessary for any living thing to get by. Put together a kit that contains sufficient food and water.

Here are more items that you shouldn’t miss in your travel kit;

  • Toys will help when your pet begins to feel anxious and restless for some reason.
  • A pillow or two and jackets for dogs for maximum comfort during the trip. These and a few extra blankets will come in handy, especially if the weather changes suddenly.
  • Healthy treats. Being the sweet and thoughtful owner, reward your pet for being well-behaved during the trip.
  • First-aid kit. A lot happens in the course of any trip, so it’s good to be prepared.
  • Litter-box. If you’re lucky to land a spacious bag, a litter box would be in order.
  • You wouldn’t want to leave your animal roaming around unattended, would you?

Since it seems like such an affair, you could park all these items the day before the trip. Doing this will help you stay calm and avoid being stressed out. Besides, you’ll have some time to get prepared for the trip along with your pet.

Pack a Travel Kit for Your Pet

3.   Prepare them Psychologically

Pets have varying personalities that must be put into consideration at all times. Some are always up for an adventure while others react differently when taken on one.

Take them out on short drives just so they become familiar with the road setting. Do this twice or thrice a week when the weather’s fine. They’ll take it from here when it’s time for the actual road trip.

Engage your pet in random exercises an hour or two before the trip begins. They’ll be too exhausted to start moving around and causing an unnecessary commotion in the car in the middle of the trip.

If your journey requires you to move across state borders, carry a complete and certified copy of your pet’s vaccination record. If you lack one, take your pet for vaccination at a verified vet’s office.

Since it might take a while, plan for such logistics early enough. You could also book an appointment with the vet. They’ll ascertain how fit your pet is for road trips. If not, treatments for the same should be administered as soon as possible for them to take effect before the trip.

Prepare them Psychologically

4.   Feed them Right

Most pets are prone to car sickness. This doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be fed before a trip. On the contrary, healthy diets can counter this effect and keep your pet comfortable throughout the trip.

Don’t overfeed your pet as it only accelerates motion sickness. Just give it something to keep it going to avoid looking scruffy and weak. It’s not right to introduce new foods to your pet as they’ll only make matters worse.

It might not agree with your pet’s tummy, or some underlying allergies may start acting up.

Your pet may be stressed out and, as a result, may be subjected to the torture of diarrhea. Fiber supplement always does the trick, mainly if it contains no sweeteners or flavors. One teaspoon is enough to keep your pet’s tummy out of danger.

Feed them Righ

5.   Never Leave Your Pet Alone

Make sure your pet is always close by right from the time you leave the house. Their curiosity may send them wandering off to some distant location and possibly slip away from your sight.

When embarking on your road trip, ensure that the doors are locked securely and the sunroof closed. The one thing that you should never do is to leave your pets alone in the car because the temperatures tend to rise to a maximum of 100 degrees in only a few minutes. Adjust the temperatures to the ones your pet can easily adapt to.

Use the same air freshener you use at home to create a familiar atmosphere for your pet.

In the case of a cat, place the litter box behind the seats on the floor. They don’t wear leashes so taking them out of the car will be risky on your end as they may run off.

6.   Train Them to be Calm

If you don’t go out with your pet as often, this is the time to start the training. Lead your pet into your car and command them to be still. See how long they can hold their peace then move on to the next phase of the training.

Turn the engine on watch your pet’s reaction, and have them sit on your lap so they won’t be scared. Let the engine run for about three to five minutes. Do this once every day if your schedule is not as tight.

Reward them with pats and treats when they finally learn to stay calm. The next phase is to take them to a store that’s only a few blocks away. Allow your pet to sit in the passenger seat as you monitor its reactions regularly.

7.   Take Breaks

Sitting still in a crate for hours on end can take a toll on your pet. Take breaks of about 2 hours if the distance covered is quite long. Engage your pet in vigorous exercises while on these breaks.

These breaks are beneficial to your pet in the following ways;

  • A taste of fresh air. No matter how comfortable you make your pet’s crate, fresh air is paramount.
  • Enhanced blood circulation. Pets love to exercise their limbs by playing games like ‘fetch.’ Their circulatory system is up for a good run, keeping certain diseases like congestive heart failure (CHF) at bay.
  • Enhances moods. You may have encountered your pet looking sickly and not up for a run. 2 hours of uninterrupted running, playing, and general exercises will boost your pet’s mood.
  • Puts their explorative nature into action. If yours is free-spirited and curious, these long breaks are a sure opportunity for them to explore.

Take Breaks

Did you know that almost half of the pet parents (47%) let their pets roam free when traveling in the car? A survey of 501 Americans with pets revealed some surprising results regarding their knowledge of pet safety and not following vet-recommended safety practices.

You can check out the data here, which not only includes the results of our survey but also information on properly restraining your pet in your vehicle, choosing a harness and other equipment, and more.

Things to consider before buying a Pet Carrier

A pet carrier is a viable option for pet owners who are not comfortable with crates and here are some guiding features before you buy one;

  • Your pet’s size. Never go shopping for a carrier without your pet. You might shop for a much bigger or smaller one, and the sellers might not agree to take it back.
  • Durability factor. If you intend for it to serve your pet longer, choose a carrier made of quality material.
  • Airport approved. In case you plan to fly with your pet, buy a pet carrier approved by the airline in question. Most airlines have a set of carrier instructions that you must follow. One of them is to avoid carrying one that’s considered ‘oversized.’
  • Don’t stress yourself out, trying to make an impression. Find a pet carrier whose price is in line with your budget.

BONUS – Holiday Safety Tips for Pets

With the holiday season just around the corner, there are many precautions you can take to protect your pet from dangerous festive plants and toxic holiday foods. If ingested, some holiday plant and food staples can lead to thousands of dollars in costly emergency veterinary bills.

My friends at the MarketWatch Guides team want you and your pets to enjoy this holiday season. That’s why we’ve reached out to real veterinarians to learn which foods and plants are on your pet’s naughty list. You can also consider investing in pet insurance for financial coverage should a pet accident or emergency happen during the holidays.

The Bottom Line

Pets need unlimited and undivided attention, especially when going on a road trip. Following the above-mentioned tips will give you and your pet a memorable travel experience.


Related article: 5 Hotel SEO Tips To Get More Direct Bookings

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