Some families travel with kids, some families travel with pets and some families travel with both. These tips, courtesy of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and pet products company Sure Fit will ensure your pet has a smooth ride to your destination.
1. Contain them. Pets should travel in a well-ventilated crate or carrier that is secured in the car so it won’t slide around in the event of a quick stop. The crate should be large enough for the animal to stand, sit, lie down and turn around.
2. Test them. Take some test runs to get your pet acclimated to car rides. Start with a series of short drives and gradually lengthen the time spent in the car.
3. Don’t feed them. Never feed a pet in a moving vehicle. You’ll both be sorry. Feed the animal a light meal three or four hours before you leave then wait until you arrive to feed your pet again, even if it’s is a long drive.
4. Don’t leave them. Never leave an animal alone in a parked vehicle. On a hot day, even with the windows open, a parked automobile can become a furnace in no time, and heatstroke can develop. In cold weather, a car can act as a refrigerator, holding in the cold and causing the animal to freeze to death.
5. Pack for them. Pack everything your pet needs for the trip, including food, bowl, leash, a waste scoop, plastic bags, grooming supplies, medication and a favorite toy. If you’re traveling across state lines, bring along your pet’s rabies vaccination record. Some states require this proof at interstate crossings.
6. Identify them. Before you leave, have your pet microchipped for identification and have a temporary travel tag made with your cell number, destination phone number and any other relevant contact information.
7. Buckle them. Dogs love to stick their heads out the window, but it isn’t safe. They can be injured by flying objects. Dogs should ride in the back seat in a crate or harness held in place by a seat beat.
8. Hydrate them. When it comes to H2O, BYO. Opt for bottled water or tap water from home stored in plastic jugs. Drinking water from an area he’s not used to could result in tummy upset for your pet.
Sure Fit sells rubberized floor liners, waterproof seat covers and other pet travel products in its Auto Friends Collection.