Going on a road trip you want to set out on with your furry loved ones? There’s a checklist that you’ll need to follow and remember while taking this particular journey. But before you decide for sure that your beloved companion will be taking that trip, you’ll need to know if they are ready. As travel can be a potentially risky and stressful exercise, you need to be sure if your pet is 100% ready. If your pet is susceptible to changes in temperature, prone to nervousness and might need a couple of rounds of obedience training, then it’s best to have a trusted sitter take good care of them in your absence. Whatever the case, it is crucial you have them feel comfortable and get used to car rides and being in the car – taking them frequently on short rides first can be a great option. When confident of having your pet on the trip, adhere to this checklist throughout the entire journey.
- Carry their favourite toys and bedding as familiar smells from home will keep them more relaxed. And for their physical safety, carry a first-aid kit in the dashboard – hydrogen peroxide, gauze pads, adhesive tape, alcohol wipes, bandages, styptic powder, ice pack, towels, saline solution, tweezers, scissors and disposable gloves. Every single item is a must.
- You will need to gear up by carrying, food, water, bowls, a proper stock of medication if they’re on any and of course, a litter box and litter/waste bags. If you’re with a cat, keep the litter boxes on the floor, so as not to risk taking them out of the car.
- ID your pet. It is risky to travel with your pets unless they have microchips implanted as ID and are wearing external tags with proper contact information.
- Before travelling, see that your pet has a clean bill of health. That means blood tests and vaccinations that have been administered within the proper time frame and are current. Carry proof of such vaccinations just in case.
- The front seat is not for pets, so maintain that boundary no matter what. In case an airbag deploys, having your pet (even in a crate) in the passenger seat could injure them.
- Take plenty of rest stops – your pet will appreciate it, and you can have them enjoy some leg space and have some playtime while taking a short walk. Never leave the car without a collar, ID tag and leash. Always put on a harness or leash before exiting the vehicle for safety reasons. Don’t leave your pet alone in a car. The interior of a car can heat up to 100 degrees or more in a matter of minutes.
- Heads inside. If you let your pets stick their heads out of the window, they could either fall sick by having cold air forced into their lungs or get hurt by debris or a tree branch or another car – the point being, keep them safe inside your vehicle. Keep both the windows and the sunroof closed, so they don’t jump through it.
- For dogs, the most reliable way to travel in a car is in a crate anchored securely to the vehicle using a seat belt. Make sure your dog can stand erect without their ears touching the roof of the crate and can sit, turn around and lie down in a natural and comfortable position. For cats, use an adequately restrained carrier, so it doesn’t bounce around and hurt your cat – secure a seat belt around the front of the carrier. It is advised you introduce your pets to the carrier you plan on using well in advance of the trip – make sure they are used to both its shape and smell.