Pets Need a Vacation Too!

As we all hopefully continue to enjoy some leisure time this summer, many pet owners may be packing up the car for a road trip or a long weekend adventure. It’s always a tough decision whether to board your pets, leave them with a friend or take them with you, but it’s important to consider their safety if you do decide to bring Fido or Fluffy along for the ride.

The frequent starts, stops and side-to-side motion common to car travel can cause serious discomfort for motion-sensitive pets, and it’s a good idea to secure a pet’s travel crate inside the vehicle to minimize this motion as much as possible. As tempting as it may be, it’s also not a good idea to allow pets to ride in the front seat, as this position can make them more vulnerable in an accident. And as much as your furry friend may want to catch some fresh air, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) notes that pets allowed to stick their heads out of moving car windows become susceptible to ear and lung infections, and can even become injured by passing objects.

A quality crate or carrier can prevent injury in a vehicle collision while on the road and act as a familiar bed while staying at an unfamiliar location. It’s a good idea to allow your pet ample time to become familiar with the crate or carrier before hitting the road. Other important items to remember to bring along include a brush or comb, a leash, towels or blankets, a first aid kit, a travel-friendly set of food and water bowls, scooper, grooming supplies and a favorite toy or two.

What a pet eats before traveling and on the road can play a significant role in his or her health during travel. Food composition and even water additives vary from location to location, so owners should pack some bottled water and food before leaving home. In addition, according to the ASPCA, a pet should eat at least three hours before departure with periodic snacks at rest stops, but it’s not advised to feed a pet inside a moving vehicle.

Safe travels!

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