Thinking about taking a road trip with your pet? Although this might sound like a simple task, taking a pet on a road trip is a little more complicated than most people think, but it is definitely worth the effort!
Autumn is the best time to think about taking a road trip with your pet as the weather will still be nice enough to enjoy the outdoors, but you won’t have to worry about your pet overheating. If you’re longing to hit the road this autumn, follow these simple tips for getting your pet ready for an extended road trip.
Build up Slowly
Most pets are only ever accustomed to taking short trips in the car – usually to the vet or pet groomers and then back again. If you want to get your pet used to spending an extended amount of time in the car, you’ll need to build up the time gradually over a few days. If your pet shows signs of anxiety or illness, there are a few options you can take. Either visit your vet and ask about prescribing your pet with a mild sedative to help them cope with the anxiety as they get used to this new environment.
Plan, Plan, Plan
Taking a road trip with your pet is nothing like jumping in the car and hitting the road with a friend. You will need to plan your trip perfectly, including checking that your chosen hotels will allow pets and making sure you can take plenty of rest stops. If you have a dog, try to plan a stop at least every two hours so your pet can stretch their legs and use the bathroom.
It might take longer to get to your destination, but you can often use these stops as a chance to explore a bit of the countryside that you’ve never seen before. If you are travelling with a very young puppy do not forget that while you are away that they will need to start drinking water between the age of 3-4 weeks. This is definitely something that needs to be written down!
Dogs are notorious for getting into trouble when they are in unfamiliar surroundings. Avoid letting your pet drink from standing water, eat any unknown berries or play in long grass where snakes may be lurking. Your pet should always be fitted with a dog microchip, in addition to having your contact details on their collar. It’s usually best to include your mobile number if you are travelling as this will make it easier for people to contact you if your pet gets lost.
Don’t forget your pet’s essentials
You’re not the only one with some packing to do! Don’t forget your pet’s essentials, such as food, water, medication, animal shampoo, toys, a first aid kit, pet litter and tick tweezers. You should also create a dedicated space in the car where your pet can get comfortable while also staying safe.
A harness with a specialist seat belt is the best option to keep your pet in place and prevent them from being a safety hazard while you drive. Your dog should be able to move, but shouldn’t be able to jump in the front seat.
Follow these useful tips and you should make that first road trip with your pet a far more pleasurable experience.