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The warm weather is here. It’s time to enjoy the outdoors after a long, cold winter. It also means vacations and road trips. But what about the family pet? Surely, your dog or cat will want to go along for the ride. Before you take your pet on a road trip, here are some helpful pet travel tips that might make the trip more enjoyable for both of you.

Pet Travel Tips

  1. Pet Travel Tip 1 – Keep the Windows Rolled Up– Sure the classic road trip is not complete without having the family dog’s head hanging out the window. As cute and quaint as this might look, it could prove dangerous to your pooch. By having its head outside the window in a moving vehicle, your dog will be susceptible to head injuries from any debris or litter that might fly out of a passing vehicle. Also, the heavy airflow has been known to damage a dog’s respiratory system. So not matter how much your dog begs, please keep the windows rolled up.
  2. Pet Travel Tip 2 – Have Your Pet Ride in the Back–Airbags are not a pet’s best friend! Designed to save adult human lives, airbags can actually cause more harm than good when it comes to small children and pets. That’s why it is best that your dog or cat is made to sit in the back seat or storage area whether it’s a short ride or long one. You may let a large dog ride in the front seat provided it is properly restrained.
  3. Pet Travel Tip 3 – Avoid Flying Dogs and Cats– Just like you would never let a child ride in your car without wearing a seatbelt, you must never let your furry friend ride without a safety harness. Nowadays, most support harnesses are designed to integrate with your vehicle’s seat belt. The harnesses are good for larger dogs. For medium- and small-sized dogs and cats, you can purchase a harness that comes with a bed-like box. Smaller dogs and cats place them in a pet carrier. The idea to restraining your pet in the car is to prevent them from working their way to the front seat or being flung around in the event you have to brake hard or swerve to avoid an accident.
  4. Pet Travel Tip 4 – A Gated Commute– installing a dog gate or guard is a great way to keep your pet from moving to the front of the car. Gates/guards are easy to install and remove and can be placed either behind the front seats or in a vehicle’s storage area.
  5. Pet Travel Tip 5 – A Little Familiarity Goes a Long Way– To most dogs and cats, a motor vehicle can be an imposing and intimidating thing. From a pet’s perspective a car is a large box with wheels that moves and makes a lot of noise. Also, it is one of the few places where the pet owner wants nothing to do with the pet for obvious reasons. So what’s the solution? Before you start the engine, introduce your pet to the vehicle. Let it go inside and roam around a bit. Do this a couple of times before actually going on a trip. Your pet will soon realize that there is nothing to worry about. If your pet still shows signs of nervousness, consider getting pet calming treats for dogs or pet calming treats for cats. Pet calming treats are formulated to help reduce a pet’s stress.
  6. Pet Travel Tip 6 – For the Long Haul– if you are planning to take your dog or cat on a long trip, please be sure to pack lots of water, treats, food, and their favorite toys and blankets. Make sure to take frequent rest stops so your pet will have some stretch time. Book reservations at hotels that accept pets.

Safe travels …