Travelling With Pets - Our Top Tips
Staying Safe While Travelling With Pets
Before travelling with pets, be sure to consult with a veterinarian to ensure all required vaccinations etc. are up to date. This is only really necessary for international travel and applies to land crossings. You may consider having senior pets checked if undertaking a long journey. If applicable, be sure to carry enough prescribed medication to last your trip and a small surplus to account for any delays/changes to your plans.
Your pet should be travelling in an industry-approved pet crate that has been anchored to the vehicle via seatbelt or alternative secure means. This will ensure your pet is contained and not roaming around the inside of your vehicle. It avoids the pet becoming a distraction or getting in the way, and best protects your pet in the event of an emergency. The Humane Society advises that a pet should never be transported in the back of an open pickup truck.
On The Road
This next tip may seem pretty obvious to anyone travelling with pets but we think it’s worth reiterating nonetheless. Remember that your pet will need a little extra TLC on long journeys. Just being in the car may cause your pet to become quite anxious and they’ll dehydrate quicker as a result. Be sure to plan frequent stops at a safe area where your pet can stretch its legs and drink some water. This is a good opportunity for your pet to go to the bathroom, too. Your pet should be leashed and be wearing a collar with ID tag attached. Throughout your journey, keep checking in with your pet and look for any unusual behaviour or signs that they may be distressed. This could include restlessness, trembling, or whining.
PSA: Cars Get Hot!
A reminder that cars get hot. Like, really hot. On a 70-degree day, the temperature inside one can soar to 99 degrees in 20 minutes, advise PETA. It’s best practice not to leave an animal in your car for any amount of time in warmer months. This can be especially tricky if you’re travelling solo. If you make a stop for lunch, for example, seek out a pet-friendly patio or one where you can leave your pet tied in a shaded area within sight. Ensure that your pet has access to water and monitor for any signs of heat exhaustion. You may be able to make a pit stop at a lake where your dog can jump in and cool down. Be sure to check signage and that pets are allowed to enter the water.
Keep Control Of Your Pet
Do your research on any areas that you plan to take your pet. This includes stops along the way as well as at your destination. As you drive through Canada, you may find yourself in a Provincial Park or a National Park, for example. Your pet should be on a leash in these areas and be prepared to pick up if your dog goes number two. Be mindful of any area close to a road, which may present a danger to your pet. When travelling with pets, respect signage, have good judgement of your surroundings and ensure you’re being a responsible pet owner.
Arriving At Your Accommodation
There are lots of great, pet-friendly hotels to choose from! Once you arrive, a good way to help your pet settle into unfamiliar surroundings is to bring something they recognize. This may be a bed or a toy, for example. Establish a place for your pet at your accommodation. Your pet will understand that *this* is where they can sleep and *this* is where they will find food/water. Many pet owners will also travel with their preferred pet food brand. This ensures that your pet’s stomach isn’t upset by the introduction of unfamiliar foods. Bring along some treats to reward your pet for their great behavior.
Remember that pets tend to cost extra at some accommodations and a surcharge may be applied for any damages, too. You can avoid any unfortunate bathroom incidents by keeping your usual schedule. Ensure any unwanted behaviors, such as scratching of walls or chewing of furnishings, are dealt with immediately. Do not leave your pet alone in a hotel room for extended periods and consider engaging a local dog-sitter if required. Your accommodation provider may be able to assist with this.
Travelling with pets can be so rewarding and there’s really no reason why your four-legged friend shouldn’t enjoy the adventure with you! Hopefully, this post has provided you with some useful information to keep you and your pet safe, healthy, and happy.