Your pet is more or less a part of your family and there’s no reason to leave it behind when you take a weekend getaway with the fam. Well, the (often) exorbitant pet boarding costs and the struggle of finding an amiable dog sitter may also figure into the equation, but there’s also a lot of positives in traveling with your pet. For one, hitting the road together will help strengthen your bond and the excitement of discovering new sights and places will have the animal delirious with enjoyment.
Whatever your reasons for carrying your pet along on a trip, you need to observe certain protocols to keep your pet (and yourself) safe, comfortable, and happy throughout the journey. This is especially important in these unprecedented times when observing health safety rules is more of a legal obligation than a social one.
Be Health Conscious
While cats and dogs cannot transmit COVID-19 to humans, they can still receive it from humans and suffer from it, hence the need to protect them from infection as much as you protect yourself. When meeting new people, including family members, ensure that they keep a reasonable distance from your pet’s face (yeah, quite hard, I know, but doable still).
Restrain the Pet
When in the car, ensure that the pet remains contained at all times both for their own safety and for everyone’s peace of mind, as a frenetic pet may even interfere with the driver’s concentration. For dogs, there are lots of harnesses designed for traveling purposes and which can be fitted into car seats. If you’re traveling with a cat, secure it in a fitting carrier and you won’t have problems on the road.
Scope Out Pet-Friendly Stops
As you plan on other aspects of the trip, spare some time to scour the route and check whether there’s any pet-friendly pit stops along the way, whether a park, a pet shop, or a lodge. Further, confirm if a hotel allows pets before placing a booking. Disappointment is the last thing you need after a tiring journey.
Turn Down The Heat
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, leaving your pet locked up in the car is very risky, as internal car temperatures can rise by 20 degrees in as little as 10 minutes and even higher than that if you are away for a bit longer. Exposure to these high temperatures can cause your pet to suffer from heat strokes, which can be deadly, depending on the type of animal. Notably, if you do proper research as pointed out in the previous point, you won’t have to leave your animal friend locked in the car.
Carry All The Essentials
Pets can get pretty anxious when on the road, which can cause them to act unpredictably. To avoid this, carry with you a bag containing the pet’s usual food, water, and toys to give it a sense of familiarity even as their environment changes. You may also want to throw in an emergency kit containing pertinent medications, eyewash, bandaging, and antibiotic ointment.
Get Your Vet’s Word
It is always advisable to get your vet’s approval before traveling with pets, especially when going on an out-of-state trip. The vet will advise you on how to mitigate any anxiety or nausea issues the pet develops along the way and also give you some first-aid tips in case of an emergency. In case you are going to a state with a high prevalence of pet diseases, the vet will also give your pet some vaccinations as a precaution.