Tips For Road Trips With Your Pets

March 7th, 2018 by

Dog with head out the Window

Whether it’s a routine vet check-up or you’re driving somewhere for a weekend jaunt, there will come a time when your pet is going to be inside your vehicle. As pet owners ourselves here at Acura of Fayetteville, we know how challenging travel with pets can be, especially on those first few trips. Here are a few pointers and reminders so that your furry friend can enjoy the ride as much as you enjoy your drive.

Getting Accustomed to Space

The first time will feel strange for your pet. Your car is a very different space from their home, the yard, or the park. It’s enclosed, and in many cases, they will be secured for their own safety. The longer they are riding, the more stressed they may become.

A good idea if you are planning a long trip is to ease your pet into the experience by taking short rides. Then, gradually extend the time. If they require a kennel or carrier, make sure they are in it. Eventually, they will realize that there is always an end to the trip and may even come to enjoy the scenery or take advantage of the time for an epic nap.

Things to Bring

Identification, leashes, food, water, medication – these are staples for time away from the home. Along with some food they are used to eating at home, you may also want to bring a favorite toy or their sleeping pad or blanket so they have familiar scents and constants during the trip. Depending on your destination, you may want to pack waste/sanitary clean-up components (litter and scoop for cats, doggie poop bags, newspaper, for example), grooming equipment, or other things you may not be able to find in a hurry.

The kennel or carrier should be big enough that your pet can comfortably stand, turn around, sit, and lie down, and it should be well ventilated. Most pet stores carry a variety of travel carriers. You may also wish to get your pet used to the carrier itself prior to the short drives discussed earlier. That way, they only have to process one new environment or circumstance at a time.

If you are crossing state lines, you should also have your pet’s vaccination record, in case you are asked for it. Better to have it on hand and not need it than vice versa.

A Handful of Do’s and Don’ts

– DO talk to your pet during the drive. Your voice may be calming and encouraging to them.

– DO have access to clean water so they can stay hydrated.

– DO feed your pet a meal three or four hours before the drive so they have time to digest, go to the bathroom, and settle before getting into the car. In other words…

– DON’T give your pet a full bowl of food or a full meal during the trip. Pets get carsick too.

– DO properly and safely secure your pet and…

– DON’T let your pet hang their head out the window. We’ve seen dogs doing this in real life and in movies, but there is always a danger that your pet could be struck by a flying object or jump out in a moment of panic. Better safe than sorry.

– NEVER leave your pet unattended in your vehicle – even if the window is open a bit to let in air.

Looking for the perfect vehicle that you and your pet can enjoy countless weekend getaways and trips to the hiking trails in? Call us or come to visit us at Acura of Fayetteville to browse our new vehicles. We can also help you find the right materials to protect the interior of your vehicle from muddy paws and other side effects of all your adventures.

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