Here are some things to consider when taking your pet on the road:
- Take a thermos of water from home, so your pet won’t have to adjust to water that may have different chemicals in it. Some pets have adverse reactions to such changes.Vacation time is not a good time to change your pet’s food. Take sufficient food from home in case the specific brand or diet regimen is not available where you plan to spend your vacation. Changes in food can result in diarrhea, loss of appetite, and vomiting.To reduce the potential for an upset stomach in your pet, provide smaller quantities of food using more frequent feedings while on the road.
- You never know when your pet may have to be kenneled in an emergency. Make sure your pet’s vaccinations are current (including bordetella), and pack your vaccination records with you.Have your veterinarian’s phone number with you in case of an emergency. Be sure your pet has identification tags in case it gets lost in a strange area. You may choose to have your pet microchipped for its protection.Many pets wander away at roadside stops, or they get lost and confused in traffic accidents. It is wise to keep your pet on a leash at all times when outside your vehicle.
Pets can jump from a vehicle in an instant! Cats especially like to escape when the car stops. For the safety of your pet keep it kenneled while traveling. A sudden stop can turn your pet into a flying torpedo. Another option is a pet safety belt, which can be purchased at your veterinarian’s office.
Never leave your pet locked in the car, regardless of the weather. Animals have a higher normal temperature than humans and can overheat quickly. If your pet becomes frightened or agitated, it could ruin the interior of the car.
- Not all tourist sites welcome pets. Check in advance to see if there are accommodations for your animal where you’ll be visiting. Travel agents and Internet sites are good sources of information.Kennels in the area may provide daycare options.
- If you have never traveled with your pet before, try some short trips first. Some animals become very nervous and get carsick. Your veterinarian can supply you with a mild tranquilizer to help your pet adjust.