Summer is here, which means many of us are going on vacations with the family! If you plan on bringing your favorite furry members of the family on your road trip adventure this year, then there are several considerations to make before your departure, such as which pet supplies you should bring, how you’re going to transport your pets (loose in the car or crated?), how bringing a pet along may affect what activities you can partake in at your destination, etc.
To ensure you’re as prepared as possible for your summer road trip with your pets, here are some safety tips you’ll want to plan for:
Pet-Proof Car Seat Protectors
Many small dogs are sensitive and cope with the constant fear of being separated from their owners. Your pup will feel safe and secure in your car with you nearby, so be sure that you have pet-proof car seat protector. Pet-proofing your car can also protect against any accidents that may happen (some pets get carsick, after all), as well as keep your seats scratch and fur-free after you return home from your trip.
Pet Seatbelts and Carriers
Make sure that you have pet seatbelts when traveling with your pet. Leash your dog for their safety and do ensure that it’s long enough that they have some freedom to move without choking. Some pet seatbelts involve a simple, leash-like clip that attaches to a collar or harness and clips into an actual car seatbelt (which you can find on Amazon for less than $10), while other car restraints for animals are more complex, involving a carrier or elaborate harness to ensure your four-legged friends are secure at all times. If you have enough room in your car, you may also opt to crate your pets in the back, but be sure there is good airflow back there if you’re going anywhere hot so they don’t miss out on the cooling effects of the car’s air conditioning.
Never forget to bring along your pet’s favorite pillow, blanket or stuffed animal. Familiarity with these toys and comfort items will reduce any shock or homesickness your pet may feel while on vacation. Bring along additional blankets or towels so your pup or car can take a nap during a long, boring car ride.
Additional Considerations for Your Road Trip
To have a safe and enjoyable journey with your whole family, there are some things you should do during the car ride:
Don’t forget veterinary records
It’s important to be prepared for every possible scenario, and if something happens to your cat or dog while you’re traveling, you’ll want to have their most recent veterinary records on hand to take to a new veterinary office, just in case. This should include their vaccination records and basic health background (especially if your pet has a health condition that needs ongoing maintenance).
Keep a first aid kit ready
For humans and pets alike, accidents happen and it’s important to be prepared for these in case something happens when your miles away from the nearest town where you can seek out help. If your pet gets excited or goes somewhere you hadn’t pet-proofed, they could injure their paws or nails, requiring some gauze and other pet-specific medical supplies.
Avoid leaving your pet alone in the car
During the hot summer months, even a parked car with the windows down might become an oven, and your pet might experience heatstroke as a result. While this may require some adjustments to your itinerary, it’s important to never leave your pets alone in the car (even if they have water, the weather isn’t that hot, and the windows are partially rolled down). If you are going somewhere that simply isn’t pet-friendly, then consider either leaving a human member of the family at home to care for your pet or find a local pet sitter who can take care of your furry family member for the day to ensure they’re always safe and sound.