Quick Tips for Preparing Your Pet for Auto Travel

Travel with a dog in the car

Thinking of traveling with your pet in a car this spring or summer? Believe it or not, now is the time to start preparing your pet for that family trip, especially if it will be the first time that your pet travels with you. Here are a few good tips to make the trip easier for everyone.

Take short trips in the car ? get your pet used to their restraining device. If you have a small pet, a carrier or bolster seat may be the right way to go. If you have a larger dog, a harness will keep your dog safe as well as other passengers riding in the car. The best way to protect any pet in a car is a pet crate buckled into the seat. Whatever you decide, your pet will need time to get used to riding in the car.

Socialize your pet?? take them to a neighborhood dog park or walk your dog so it is exposed to other dogs and people. You will be stopping along the way on your trip and you want to be sure that your dog will not be aggressive towards other dogs.

Pick the right place for them – your pet will suffer less anxiety on the road if you position them where they can see you. It is safest to restrain your pet in the backseat of the car; but put them behind the passenger seat if you will be driving. Having you in their line of sight will reduce their level of anxiousness. Removing them from their normal environment is stressful enough. Knowing that you are with them will comfort them.

Groom your pet ? dog grooming is extremely important right before a trip. A bath and clip will make the trip more pleasant for everyone, especially your pet. Your pet needs to be accustomed to being groomed and handled so start early if you can.

Get the right equipment?and let your pet use it prior to travel. You will need a strong leash at hand at all times. When stopping for a rest, be sure and do not let your pet out of the car until they are leashed and you have your footing. Do not use a retractable lead if possible as you sacrifice control. You will need?portable water and food bowls, bottles of water from home, towels or wipes and a?portable kitty litter tray?if you are traveling long distances with a cat. Bring enough of your dog?s food to last the trip. Changing food can upset a dog?s digestive tract and may result in unpleasant consequences.

Plan to stop frequently – although most older and larger dogs can last between 10 to 12 hours before a rest stop, it is advised to stop and allow them to stretch their legs every 4-5 hours. Puppies and kittens can last about an hour for every month of life, so a puppy that is 3 months of age can last 3 hours between breaks. As this can vary between breeds and puppies, more frequent stops is a good idea.

Find a pet friendly hotel early if you will need one. Many pet friendly hotels reserve a fixed number of rooms for pets, so reserving early is important. After finding a pet friendly hotel, call them to be sure to confirm their pet policy. Make sure you have a room on the ground floor for easy access if this is possible. Ask if there are pet friendly amenities nearby.

If you are crossing country borders, be sure and plan a trip to your vet to fill out the paperwork to the country you will be visiting. Have your pet micro chipped and register the microchip so officials can find your contract information should your pet go missing.

Some advance preparation will make your trip so much more enjoyable for everyone traveling. Your dog or cat will know what to expect and will be very happy to be included in the family vacation.


Quick Tips for Preparing Your Pet for Auto Travel — 5 Comments

  1. Your right Daniel, we should take care of our pets when traveling in a vehicle like we would our own children.

  2. Having traveled with two teacup chihuahua’s on long road trips over the years, I can say that these are excellent tips. To expand on the fifth tip, in addition to seeking out a pet friendly hotel, consider finding pet friendly vacation rentals as an alternative. Be sure to ask the property manager or owner about a fenced in back yard, the number of levels the home has, nearby parks for walks, etc. I do believe you’ll be more than pleasantly surprised by the “just like home” feeling you get in a vacation rental, and the comfort level you and your pet will have with your home-away-from-home surroundings.

  3. Great tips! Thanks. There is also the matter of making sure that your pet travels safely by car. Like buckle up your pets. CNN.com just wrote a story about that.

  4. dear sir/madam

    i want to know if i want to import 2 parrot birds from camroon to deliver u.a.e Sharjah what is the total cost.


    Before you even look at costs for this, please be aware that there are many pet scams coming out of Cameroon. You can see some infomation about the subject on our home page (bottom right corner): http://www.pettravel.com/
    Please make sure not to wire money. Any transactions should be done by credit card or a third party payment system, like Paypal. Being asked to wire funds for a pet will more than likely end up in a loss situation for you. If you do have a bona fide pet shipment, we would be happy to give you a quote. Additionally, keep in mind that you will need the proper import documents, and that the birds will be required to be quarantined in a USDA amimal import center.


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