With Thanksgiving right around the corner, many of us are planning to travel to visit friends and loved ones. According to the American Pet products Association, 37% of us won’t board our pets, or leave them with a neighbor, we’ll take them with us!
Every dog and cat is different, but below are some tips you can use to make traveling with your pet more stress free:
- Is your pet healthy enough to travel? If they just had surgery, or are being treated for some chronic or acute malady, it might be best not to take them on a trip with you. If you’re not sure, check with your veterinarian to see what they think is best.
- Is your pet anxious about traveling? Many pets are anxious when it comes to traveling, so before taking them on a long car ride, bring them with you on a few shorter trips around town with you to help adapt them to travel.
- Related to anxiety, placing a pet in a carrier or a smaller container, may help reduce their anxiety as well – particularly cats.
- If necessary, there are medications and tranquilizers that can be used to calm an anxious pet. You should check with your veterinarian for available options if you feel it might help your pet.
- Bring any medications with you. Make sure to take any medications that your pet may be on with you when you travel (if they’re on any).
- Bring their food with you. Don’t buy another food for them that they’re not used to. New foods can lead to GI upset and a sick pet.
- Don’t leave your pet loose in the car! A harness that can be secured to a seatbelt is the best way to keep your pet safe and injury free in the car. DON’T use a collar and a leash secured to a seatbelt. This solution can lead to a neck injury or worse during a sudden stop.
- Never travel with a cat loose in the car. This is an accident waiting to happen as they may wander underneath your feet and cause an accident.
Travel can be a wonderfully life enriching experience for you and your pet, just make sure to follow these tips and make it the best it can be for both of you!