Traveling with a pet by car involves more than just loading the animal in the back seat, especially if you will be driving long distances or plan to be away for a long time. Here are a few car travel safety tips to help you prepare for a smooth and safe trip:
Prepare your pet for a long trip
If you’re traveling across state lines, bring along your pet’s medical history record. While this generally isn’t a problem, some states require proof of certain vaccinations, like rabies, in certain interstate crossings. Bringing all the documentation could be useful in case your pet gets sick.
Keep your pets safe and secure in a well-ventilated crate or carrier
The crate should be large enough for your pet to stand, sit, lie down and/or turn around in. Secure your pet’s crate so it will not slide or shift in the event of a sudden stop. If you decide to not use a crate, don’t allow your pet to ride with his head outside the window, and always keep him in the back seat attached to a seat buckle.
Prep a pet-friendly travel kit
Bring food, a bowl, leash, plastic bags, grooming supplies, and travel documents. Pack a favorite toy, towel, or pillow to give your pet a sense coziness. Be sure to pack plenty of water, and avoid feeding your pet in a moving vehicle. Your pet’s travel-feeding schedule should start with a light meal three to four hours prior to departure, and always opt for bottled water. Drinking water from an area he or she isn’t used to could result in stomach discomfort.
Never leave your animal alone in a parked vehicle
On a hot day, even with the windows open, a parked automobile 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 the animal to freeze to death.