You come home from work and plop down on the couch. Your dog’s soft, wet nose wiggles under your hand and he whines for a good ear rub. No matter how exhausted you are, you always have a little more energy left in you to love on your pet. He is, after all, one of your best friends, which is why you hate to leave him at home when you head out on a summer road trip. Whether you have a cat, a dog, a ferret, or a bird, the ASPCA has put together traveling tips that can help keep your pet happy and safe when traveling by car.
If you’re ready to take a road trip with your pet, bark on! Err…read on!
First, prepare your pet by taking them on short drives around town. Slowly increase the length of time spent in the car. Never leave your pet in the car alone, especially when it’s uncomfortably hot outside. A car can become a temperature trap for your pet.
Pack a pet preparedness kit. Just as you’d pack snacks, drinks, blankets, pillows, and maybe games for your friends and family on a road trip, put together a pet version. Your pet preparedness kit could include your pet’s food, bowl, leash, plastic bags for waste, any medication they might need, a first aid kit, and their favorite toy or blanket. These things will give them a sense of comfort and familiarity.
Plan their eating schedule. The ASPCA suggests feeding your pet three to four hours before departure and not feeding them in a moving vehicle. This will reduce the chances of them getting car-sick.
You’re buckling up; your pet should too! While the ASPCA recommends that you keep your pet in a well-ventilated carrier while traveling, you may not have the room in your car for a carrier. According to Bark Buckle Up, it’s still important to restrain your pet. Their research has shown that a 60-lb dog, like a Golden Retriever or Lab, can become a projectile of 2,700-lbs at just 35 mph. That kind of weight poses a serious threat to everyone in the car.
Keep all paws and whiskers inside the vehicle. Your pet may enjoy riding with their head out of the window, but they could be injured by flying objects.
Bring your own water. We’re not saying your pet is a diva, but drinking water from an area he or she isn’t used to could lead to an upset stomach. Fill up water bottles with tap water from home or buy jugs of bottled water to pour into a plastic container when you stop.
Talk to your insurance company about pet coverage. Even though you consider your pet a part of the family, your insurance company considers him or her your property. If you’re in an auto accident and are at-fault, your pet’s injuries likely won’t be covered. If the accident wasn’t your fault, the other driver’s insurance could help pay for your pet’s injuries under property damage liability coverage.
With a little bit of planning, your pet can accompany you on this summer’s road trip. If you have pictures of your pet traveling the great American landscape, share them with us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter @DirectAutoIns!