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Vet Technician Shares 4 Tips for Pet Day Travel

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Day Travel with Your Pets – To Have Fun, Be Prepared!

Published: November 21, 2014

Updated: February 2, 2016


Guest Post By: Vet Technician Jennifer Colella


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Blue skies and the open road... can you hear them whispering your name? There’s nothing like a travel adventure to feel joy and excite the imagination. Adding your furry companion to the picture is a fantastic idea, and most dogs (and some cats, in fact!) will prefer being with you rather than lounging on the couch at home, alone. If you’re planning a trip with your best four-legged friend, follow along to be ‘paw’-pared!


1.) Snacks!


Depending on the length of your trip, plan to bring along enough pet food for one or two meals, as well as a few of your pet’s favourite treats or chew toys. A bottle of fresh, cool water is always ideal to have on hand, especially if you’re travelling in hot weather or to places where the water supply may be uncertain or potentially contaminated. Collapsible food and water bowls can easily fit into small spaces in a backpack or pouch, making it simple to offer your pooch a bite or allow them to have a drink when you stop.


2.) Safety First!


Especially when travelling in moving vehicles, your pet should follow the same safety guidelines that you would! If your dog is riding with you in the car, make sure that they’re comfortably restrained, preferably with a canine seatbelt harness, or if seat space isn’t available, in an anchored kennel. A moving pet can pose a distraction at best, and an accident hazard at worst! 


It’s also a good idea to make sure that your pup wears a secure collar and leash, current, easy to read identification and a contact name and number while travelling. It’s never a bad idea to look up contact information for emergency veterinarians in the area you’re travelling to.


3.) Set the Stage!


A winery tour, a historic site, a family reunion, or a backwoods campground - all are different types of excursions that may be perfectly welcoming to a well-behaved pet! Be sure to call ahead to your planned destination, however, to check out their pet policy. Although many venues are becoming friendly for our furry friends these days, it can be disappointing to arrive at your destination, only to find that Fido is banned from enjoying the experience as well. 


Also, it’s a good idea to gradually accustom your pet to the sounds and sensation of travel, far ahead of a long trip. Many pets adjust well, but some might need a little more preparation to truly enjoy the experience. Try small trips away from home first with your pet, and try to make each experience positive. Your vet may be able to help you if your pet’s carsickness is severe or lasting. Finally, be sure to add time when planning your trip for potty, walk and food breaks every few hours!


4.) Special Situations


Before you start planning your family journey, you may want to take a few moments to consider whether the trip will be enjoyable for your pet, too. Are there any health problems that might cause your pet to be stressed or uncomfortable during a trip?


If your pet needs regular medication, make sure to have enough on hand from your veterinarian before you leave – discussing your travel plans with your vet is also a fantastic way to prepare in advance. Overly anxious, aggressive, and very young or very senior pets may find travel tough to stomach, so you may want to consider leaving them with a trusted caregiver instead until you return from your travel adventure. 


Bon voyage!


"The real voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes."

- Marcel Proust

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