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Road Trips: Safe Traveling with Pets

Posted by Bob Newman on Jul 22, 2014 - 0 Comments


Traveling with pets can be very rewarding – but you have to prepare for it properly.


When you’re considering going on the road with your pet, it’s vital that you take the appropriate measures to ensure that your furry friend has a safe and enjoyable trip, especially if you’re going away for an extended amount of time. Here are a few tips we’ve come up with for your next trip with your pet.


Get your pet prepared for car travel

Don’t just assume that your pet will deal with car travel well – though many do. If you have never taken your pet in a car before, it’s a good idea to make some short trips around the neighbourhood first to see how it reacts to being in a moving vehicle. Some animals may suffer from anxiety or even motion sickness from travel – if this is the case, talk to your local vet about appropriate medications.

Cats tend to feel safer in the car if they travel in a small crate. If you plan to travel with one, leave the crate at home for a week or so prior to your trip so that the cat gets familiarised with it.


Make a travel kit

Putting together a travel kit before your trip is a good way to ensure comfort and minimal stress for both you and your pet. Minor first-aid items such as nail clippers and liquid bandages are good in case you happen upon an injury far away from a retail centre. Other essentials include a portable water bowl, plastic waste bags, pet treats and your pet’s favourite toys.


Regular rest breaks

Just like humans, pets require rest breaks often while traveling so that they can stretch their legs, relieve themselves and burn off excess energy stored while sitting in a car for an extended period of time. Do not feed your pet or give it water while the vehicle is in motion – it’s actually best to feed it around three to four hours before the trip in order to minimise the risk of motion sickness. If your pet needs to eat while you’re traveling, feed it at a rest stop and give it time to digest before you get back in the car again. Before letting it out at a rest stop, ensure that you’ve put a leash on it – animals can act erratically when in an unfamiliar place. Putting your pet on a leash will minimise risk for your pet. Never leave your pet unattended in a parked vehicle.


Restrain your pet

Humans wear seatbelts in cars for their safety, so why shouldn’t pets do the same? First port of call is to always get your pet to ride in the backseat so that it won’t get injured if the front seat airbag is deployed. The only exception is if you’re driving a ute, in which the animal is safer in the front cab with you.

If you’re thinking about buying a restraint system for your pet, here are some general tips to consider before you make a purchase:

  • Cats and smaller breeds of dogs travel best in a carrier. It helps them feel safer and they won’t run around the vehicle. Use a seat belt to secure the carrier in place.
  • If your larger pet requires a carrier, make sure that you are able to cushion and secure it well. In a sudden stop, the animal may slam against the side of the crate and injure itself.
  • A restraint system is the safest way to secure your dog in the car. You can purchase harnesses that attach to the seat belts, or harnesses that attach to the car’s ceiling. When picking out a restraint, choose one that offers your pet some mobility – the pet should be able to move around and turn in the seat with ease.


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This blog was posted in Travel and tagged in Adventure, Australia, Cars, Driving, pets, road, Travel, traveling, trip, with

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