What to Know Before Taking Your Pet on a Road Trip

Taking Your Pet on a Road Trip

We know that your dog is more than just a pet — he’s family. That’s why so many of your favorite summer vacation memories involve him or her, such as going to the lake or taking a hike with your beloved furry friend. However, before planning that next trip, make sure you have the knowledge and resources to keep them healthy. Here are some tips to make sure that your pet is safe while on a road trip! 

Familiarize Yourself with the Foods They Shouldn’t Have 

Your family’s Fourth of July barbecue wouldn’t be complete without your pup, but remember that as tasty as some of your grill classics are, they shouldn’t be given as treats. Corn on the cob can easily get lodged in your pet’s digestive tract and cause pain. Also, gristle seems like a delicious snack for your dog, but eating it can actually increase their risk of pancreatitis.

Keep Them Safe in the Car  

We can’t stress this enough: a pet should not be left in a hot car, no matter how quick you think you’ll return to the car. The heat inside a parked car can rise quickly enough and have lethal effects in just five minutes. 

Also, your pup should have enough space and mental stimulation in the car. Though many owners love watching their pet hang their head out in enjoyment in the shotgun seat, if you have to stop suddenly, they risk hitting the dashboard or sustaining wind-damage to their eyes. It’s much safer and more comfortable for everyone to either have them rest in their kennel crate in the back or secured with a pet seat belt in the backseat. We recommend that if they do remain in the backseat, they aren’t placed on the lap of another passenger. Keeping your pet secure and comfortable prevents them from roaming and causing a general driving distraction. 

Have Toys, Food, and Water Easily Accessible

If the ride is long enough for you to have your mind wander or feel hungry or thirsty, then your pet is probably feeling the same. Keep them entertained and sated with a chew toy and treats. One of our favorite tips is to convert an over-the-door toiletry organizer into a pet road trip toolbox! This prevents them from getting too rowdy during the trip and having to take more frequent breaks. 

Take Rest Breaks 

Any time you take a rest stop while driving, so should your pet. Your pets need bathroom breaks and time to stretch their legs just as often as you do. We recommend a ten-minute walk for each hour in the car, which will also give them plenty of time to do their business. This also reduces the risk of them becoming car sick.

Make Sure You Have the Proper Documents   

Hopefully, it never happens but be prepared for the chance that your dog might wander away during a rest break or get lost. Having up-to-date tags and a microchip can give you peace of mind knowing they can easily be found. Also, if you’re planning to stay at a hotel or other accommodation, they may request medical records and vaccination certificates for your pup. Request them early on from your vet. 

Know the Location of Local Animal Clinics Along the Way

Emergencies happen unexpectedly and when they pop up, you want to know that you have access to a proper vet who can get your pet the treatment they need. A quick Google search of vets around different pit stops you intend to take can save you time later on. 

Commit to Safety While Taking Your Pet on a Road Trip

We’re committed to making sure that pet owners have the right information to keep their pets happy and healthy for years to come. If you are looking to get a microchip, receive up to date medical records, or any other medical or grooming needs for your road trip buddy, contact Cherrelyn Animal Hospital today. We have a reputation in our community for knowledgeable and patient care that will keep your pets comfortable.