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child and dog sitting next to person packing suitcase

Staying Cool, Comfortable, and Safe

Road Trip! Such an announcement may very well get your dog’s tail wagging punctuated with delighted barking. While your cat may not be quite so enthusiastic about leaving the comforts of home. The best way to make travel enjoyable for both people and pets is to be properly prepared. And prepping for pets is no different than doing a checklist for small children.  

Food and a comfortable place to sit are two of the most important things for a hassle-free pet road trip. Always travel with the same food recipes that they enjoy at home. People may enjoy new eating experiences when they travel, but a diet change for your dog or cat could result in an upset tummy. Air-tight containers are ideal to fill with a favorite kibble. And single serving wet dinners in pouches and cans are equally easy to pack. Consider bringing a few throwaway paper plates or bowls so there is no washing up required.

However, it’s not a good idea to feed your pet a big meal just before you travel. And, if it’s a really long trip, keep meals on the lighter side until you reach your destination.

Staying Cool 

It’s very important to ensure pets stay properly hydrated. Bottled water is a good idea for a road trip because water in different parts of the country could upset a sensitive pet tummy too. A collapsible silicone travel bowl is something that can be kept permanently in a vehicle. Also fill a bowl with water and freeze it the night before you leave. This way, pets have something to lick and stay hydrated in the car without a mess.

Staying Comfortable 

A favorite blanket or pet bed will encourage your dog to lie down. It’s very important that all pets are restrained in a vehicle for their own safety as well as the safety of others in the vehicle. An unrestrained pet becomes a fast-moving projectile if the driver suddenly has to apply brakes! There is no shortage of crash-tested safety restraints for dogs. Cats should always travel in a carrier and the floor area of the back-passenger seat is the safest place unless the carrier is restrained with a seatbelt system.

It’s a really good idea to leave the cat carrier lying around the home a few days in advance of the trip and let your feline discover it for herself. This way, she will consider it a home away from home. Lining it with a puppy pee pad will prevent it from getting soiled in case of an accident en route.

Staying Safe 

Even if your pets are microchipped, a collar with current identification makes it easy for someone to try and track you down without a microchip reader. If you are going on a long trip, consider adding paper tags to the collar with details of the destinations on your route. Proper ID is a lost pet’s ticket home.

Be sure to add a portable litter box to your check list for your cat and don’t forget to pack a variety of toys – catnip infused for felines and comfort toys as well as action toys for your dog to get some exercise at your destination.

It’s always a good idea to travel with copies of your pets’ medical records and up to date vaccinations even if you are not staying in a hotel. Add copies of prescription medications and keep any medications in a cooler.

Safe travels and don’t forget to post some fun pictures to the Merrick Facebook page!

two dogs waiting for food

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