Tips for Safe Car Travel with Your Pet
22 April, 2014

With summer approaching, it is very common for pet owners to get out of town for a much needed vacation.  However, if you are planning a trip and want to bring your pet(s) with you, it can be a lot of fun.  However, traveling with your pets does take some forethought and preparation especially if you are new to traveling with your pet.

Below are some tips to help when taking your dog or cat on a road trip with you.

Get the proper carrier

If you will be driving long distances or plan to be away for a long time, make sure to keep your pets safe and secure in a well-ventilated crate or carrier. There are a variety of wire mesh, hard plastic and soft-sided carriers available. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s large enough for your pet to stand, sit, lie down and turn around in.   Make sure to get your pet used to the carrier in the comfort of your home before your trip.

Try some practice trips to ease the transition

Get your pet ready for a long trip by taking him or her on a series of short drives first, gradually lengthening the time spent in the car.  Always make sure that the crate is secure so it won’t slide or shift in case you come to a quick stop.   Every short trip will get your dog or cat used to being in a car or truck.

The feeding should start early in the morning

Your pet’s travel-feeding schedule should start with a light meal three to four hours prior to your departure. Don’t feed your furry friend in a moving vehicle even if it is a long drive. You don’t want your pet to get sick in the car.

As far as water goes, bring some bottled water for both you and your pets.  You never know about the quality of the water wherever you stop.    Again, the last thing you want is for your cat or dog to get sick during your travels.

Never leave your pets alone

Never leave your pets alone in a parked vehicle. On a hot day, even with the windows open, a parked car can become a furnace in no time, and heatstroke can develop. In cold weather, a car can act as a refrigerator, holding in the cold and causing your beloved pet to freeze.  Or someone might see your cute furry friend and take him away from you.

Prepare your travel bag beforehand

In addition to travel papers, food, bowl, leash, a waste scoop, plastic bags, grooming supplies, medication and a pet first-aid kit, pack a favorite toy or pillow to give your pet a sense of familiarity.  Or even a t-shirt or towel with your scent on it will help make your cat or dog feel a little more comfortable.

Make sure your pet has a microchip for identification and wears a collar with a tag imprinted with your home address, as well as a temporary travel tag with your cell phone, destination phone number and any other contact information. You never know if your dog will jump out of the car and make a run for it.

Make sure all dogs keep their heads inside the car

Don’t allow your dog to ride with his head outside the window. Even though dogs love the fell of the wind on them, he could be injured by flying objects.   Remember to also keep your pet in the back seat in his crate or with a harness attached to a seat buckle.

With the proper preparation and a little practice, you and your pet can enjoy a nice vacation together!

You can find more articles on pet care and advice on, our pet social network that is likeFacebook for pets.  


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