10 Tips for Safe Road Trips With Your Pet

Learn how to properly care for your pet while you're on the road.

Road Trips With Pets© Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Thinkstock

Setting off on a road trip is an exciting time, but if you’re planning to bring your pet with you there are a few things you need to keep in mind. From preparing their space in the car, to planning adequate rest stops, we’ve got 10 easy ways to get you and your pet ready for a great time on the road.

Gather health documents
Make copies of all of your pet’s medical records and ensure that they are up to date on their vaccinations before you set out on the road. If your pet gets sick while on the road, it will make it much easier for health professionals to treat them if they know your pet’s medical history.

Go on mini-trips or practice runs
Make sure your pet it familiar with your car and riding in it prior to going on a long trip. Try taking them on short errands or trips to ensure they’re comfortable with being in the car.

Groom ahead of time
Book an appointment for a full grooming of your pet before you go on your trip. This way, you’ll be travelling with a clean pet, which will make for a much more pleasant experience for everyone in the car.

Secure crate or harness
Whether your pet is more comfortable in a harness or in their crate, its important to secure this in place for the safety of you and your pet. This will keep your pet from getting out of their space, which can be dangerous to your driving.

Feed lightly
Feed your pet light meals before hitting the road. A full stomach can lead to carsickness and accidents in the car. When you’ve stopped driving for the day, feed your animal regularly.

Make frequent stops
Be sure to stop at rest stops and parks frequently on your drive. Giving  your pet ample breaks to walk will lessen the likelihood of an accident.

No heads out of the window
Although it may seem like fun, keep your dog’s head inside the car while your driving. Another car of flying debris could cause injury to your pet’s head and having your pet hanging out the window could be a distraction to other drivers.

Find pet friendly accommodations ahead of time
Check with hotels along your route to make sure that they are pet friendly. If you’re staying with friends or family, be sure to let them know you’re bringing your pet.

Microchip your pet
Consider adding a microchip to your pet. Should your pet go missing while on the road, a microchip can be the quickest way for others to help locate the animal.

Bring your own water
Bottle your water from home or use bottled water for your pet. Tap water in areas that your pet is not used to can cause upset stomachs and diarrhea.

Sources: RealSimple.com and ASPCA.org

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest