Pets are part of vacation time for many families. Before loading up the car, make sure to plan ahead and follow a few simple steps to help keep your pet safe and healthy while on the road.
- The American Veterinary Medical Association recommends keeping your dog or cat restrained, such as through a small harness or kept in a carrier, when in the car. This will help your pet remain secure in case of a collision. In addition, don’t let your dog stick its head out of the window while the car is in motion. He or she could be struck in the face with debris or even thrown from the vehicle if an accident occurs.
- Take frequent stops for bathroom breaks to ensure pets are properly fed and hydrated. When pets are outside the vehicle, make sure they are always wearing a collar with an identification tag and are on a leash.
- Never leave your cat or dog in a car, even if parked in the shade. Interior car temperatures will increase sharply in a matter of minutes, leaving your pet susceptible to dehydration and heatstroke.
- Carefully monitor your cat or dog’s food intake while traveling and keep them on a normal feeding schedule. Avoid feeding your pet human food, such as table scraps from restaurants.
- Ensure that your pet’s food is properly stored while traveling. Kibble and dry treats should be properly sealed and stored in a cool, dry place. Canned pet food should be sealed and refrigerated after opening if the entire container is not served to the pet at one time.
- When you arrive at your destination, it will be filled with new sights, sounds and smells for your pet. Keep your dog on a leash when walking outside. They will not be familiar with the new environment and could run if tempted or startled.
Click here to read tips on how to help your pet remain healthy during the summer heat or click here for steps to help keep dogs and cats safe in winter weather. With careful planning and preparation, all family members in the family can enjoy a safe and fun vacation.