Travelling with your pets can be a great idea. Not only can it be really fun, but you don’t have to worry about them being so far away from you in someone else’s care. Before you decide to take your pet with you on your trip, always double check that your hotel is not only pet friendly, but how pet friendly. You don’t want to be stuck making last minute decisions. Travelling with your pet can be tricky, so here are 10 tips to help you get started.
1. Make sure your pet’s dog collar ID and/or microchip is updated
This might seem like a no-brainer but always make sure that your pet’s ID information is correct and up to date. If something happens like your dog or cat runs away or your bird flies away, you want to make sure that whoever finds your pet can get in contact with you right away. The situation will be stressful enough that you won’t want the stress of not being sure whether someone can find you.
2. Take your dog for a walk before you leave and when you arrive
If you’re travelling with your dog, take him or her for a walk before you leave as well as right when you arrive. Dogs can start feeling very antsy when they’re stuck in a car so you want to help them let out some energy before you leave in order to try to minimize anxiety. Even if your dog is great with car rides, he might not be used to long car rides. He’ll feel a little anxious about being in a new place, so it’s good to let him walk around and smell the new smells once you arrive. It will calm him down before you walk into your hotel which is great because you don’t want your dog to be disruptive. Also, he can do his business outside and be shown that there is a place for him to do his business, which will minimize the chances of him doing it in your hotel room.
3. Don’t feed your pet a large meal before you leave
Even if your pet does not get car sickness usually, it’s still better to feed them small meals before leaving on your road trip. Long car rides can be anxiety inducing and if you pet becomes stressed, being so on a full stomach is a recipe for disaster. Feeding your pet a light meal about 2 or 3 hours before you leave is also a great way to reduce the amount of times you’ll have to stop along the way.
4. Get your pet comfortable with a crate
If you’re planning on crating your pet, which is a great idea because it can provide a kind of safe shelter in a stressful situation, you want to make your pet comfortable before your trip. There are lots of tips online to help you out if this is your first time doing it, and it will be a huge help for you on your road trip. You want to enjoy your trip and not have to worry that your pet is unsafe or uncomfortable.
5. Pack a pet First Aid Kit
You want to be prepared for any situation, and a great way of doing that is to either purchase or make your own pet First Aid Kit. It does not matter what kind of pet you’re travelling with, something can always happen. Birds and rats can injure themselves the same as dogs and cats. Having the tools to deal with the situation right away is extremely important. If the injury is serious and needs to be seen by a veterinarian, then having a First Aid Kit on hand will help you prepare for the time between the accident and the vet.
6. Don’t forget your poop bags
Most hotels that allow pets will have poop bags on hand but it is always great to bring your own, just in case.
7. Pack an old washcloth
Having an old washcloth on hand is great for when your pet gets muddy or dirty. You can just wet the washcloth and clean your pet before entering the hotel again. It will not only keep the dirt off of your bed and personal items, but some hotels can charge you for the mess your pet made so you’d be eliminating that as well.
8. Pack your pet’s favourite toy or blanket
The most important thing when travelling with a pet is to try to make sure they’re as comfortable as possible. A great way to do this is to pack their favourite toy or blanket so they have a familiar smell that will comfort them. Animals use their sense of smell to assess their surroundings, so any familiar smells will make them feel better. Place the toy and/or blanket in their crate as well as in your hotel room.
9. Make frequent stops
Just like when travelling with children, making frequent stops is important for your pet’s sanity as well as your own. Use this time to let out some energy from your pet so they will be more relaxed and rested in the car.
10. Do not leave your pet alone in the car
Not even for 5 minutes. Not even if the window is cracked. Not even if the temperature is great. Five minutes is more than enough time for your pet to die of heat exhaustion or freeze to death, or for them to injure themselves in some way. Let me repeat this again: do not, under any circumstance, leave your pet alone in the car.