Post by Blog Manager Robbi Hess
I've traveled cross country, by car, five times now with Henrietta, the Diva Poodle as my navigator. On my first trip I thought I was prepared but hadn't stop to consider what I was going to do with her when I needed a restroom break and the place I found wasn't pet-friendly. Thankfully, Henrietta is small enough to put into a purse and "smuggle" in, but what do you do if you have a larger than seven pound dog that won't fit in a purse? These and other questions arose as we traversed the countryside.
You need to plan in advance for what you will do when you have to make a stop as you NEVER, NEVER, NEVER want to leave your pet alone in a car, regardless of whether you're in the shade — the interior of your vehicle can heat up to unbearable levels and can seriously injure (or kill) your beloved pet.
Also, if you're traveling with your pet this Fourth of July to witness the beauty of fireworks, read this post about firework safety with your pets.
To kick off our July theme of Pet Safety Month, I offer these tips to make a road trip as safe as it can be for your pet:
- Determine where in the vehicle your pet will travel and make sure there is enough space. Henrietta travels in a doggie harness that snaps into the car seatbelt and sits in the front seat. Your dog may be more comfortable in his or her crate. Make certain no matter where they sit that they are securely strapped in and that the sun is not beating down on them.
- Plan your route to include potty break pit stops for your pet. You won't be able to simply jump in the car and drive for eight hours straight. Your pet will need to get out, visit Mother Nature, stretch her legs.
- Make certain your pet is microchipped and that he is wearing his collar. If you're in an accident and he escapes his seatbelt or crate and runs off, you need to have done all you can to assure his safe return.
- Carry your pet's vet records with you. If you need an emergency vet visit, you want them to know your pet is up to date on his or her shots. Also, if your pet has specific medical needs make sure you pack more than you will need to care for him. It may also make sense to pay your vet a visit before planning your trip just for a well-pet visit.
- If you don't know whether your pet will get car sick, avoid feeding her an hour before you leave. Bring along the food she is familiar with, you don't want to deal with a dog with an upset tummy and she may not be a great traveler and the stress could enhance an adverse reaction to a change in diet.
- Keep bottled water and a water dish handy and make sure you offer your pet a drink every hour. She may not want it but then again… you never know. You don't want her to get dehydrated.
- Check for pet friendly hotels along your driving route as well as dog parks and other places that provide amenities for your pet. You don't want to be trying to find a hotel that accommodates your pet after hours on the road and finding yourself getting turned down for a room for the night.
- Are you traveling for a business trip? If so, you will need to determine what your pet will do all day. Will he remain crated in the room? Can you bring him with you to your meetings? Does the hotel offer any type of pet sitting or pet walking amenities? You need to prepare for all scenarios.
- Bring toys and bedding from home. The more comfortable you make your pet in his new surroundings the more smooth the trip will progress for you both.
What are your best pet-safety-while-traveling-tips?
Stay tuned to the BlogPaws Newsletter and in the BlogPaws Community when we announce the prizes we'll be offering for Pet Safety Month. We will also be hosting a Community photo contest for prizes as well! Keep in mind that July 15 is National Pet Fire Safety Day we may be hearing from Sparkles the Fire Safety Dog!