With the Christmas holiday approaching, many pet owners are making travel plans to visit with family and friends. For some of these pet owners, a holiday would not be complete without their faithful four-legged companions. While the idea of bringing your pet on a road trip sounds fun, traveling can be a very stressful time for not only you, but also your pet. Traveling with your pet involves more than just putting them in the back seat and driving away, especially if you will be driving long distances or plan on being away for a while. For those who plan on traveling, here are a few tips to make your trip as relaxed and comfortable as possible.
- Bring a carrier that allows your pet to sit, stand, lie down and turn around. Like us, they like to move to get into a comfortable position. Having a larger carrier will allow the room for them to do whatever they need to do to get comfortable. Have the carrier out for a few days before leaving so your pet can adjust by going in and out at their leisure.
- If you plan on driving long distances you can desensitize your pet by going on several shorter rides to get them used to being in the car. Make each ride a little bit longer than the last so you can make your way up to the big trip.
- Never leave your pet in a parked vehicle. In the hot weather, a vehicle can become a furnace and heatstroke can occur within minutes. In the cold weather, a vehicle can act as a refrigerator and your pet can succumb to the frigid temperature.
- Pack a bag that has all your pet's necessities. This includes travel papers, food, bowl, leash and/or carrier, plastic bags, grooming supplies, medications and a pet first-aid kit. Also packing a favorite toy or pillow is a good idea to give your pet a sense of familiarity.
- Make sure your pet has identification. They should be microchipped and wearing a collar with a tag that has a current name, address and phone number for someone to get in touch with you in case your pet strays away.
- Packing your pets rabies tag and certificate is also a good idea in case it is ever needed.
If you have questions regarding travelling with your pet, please contact our hospital at (610) 458-8789. We serve Chester Springs, Downingtown, Exton, Glenmoore and the surrounding area.
Written by Alyson Kelly, veterinary technician