It’s warming up outside, which means summer road trips with the family! These trips can be more enjoyable when your four-legged friends tag along, but it can be less of a vacation for everyone if your pets are uncomfortable on the road.
“Taking pets out of their homes can induce stress on both the pets and the owners, so it’s important to keep them comfortable and safe while traveling,” said Jessa Paschke, behavior and training specialist at Mars Petcare. “Surrounding them with some of their favorite things from home can help reduce any anxiety and keep your pet happy anywhere you go.”
Keep these five tips in mind when taking your pet on a summer road trip:
1. See Your Vet Before You Go. Be sure to visit your veterinarian prior to taking off. Especially when traveling with an older pet, your vet can do a quick checkup to help identify any potential issues that could arise while traveling. If you’re crossing state lines, you also may need to get a health certificate for your pet.
2. Find Pet-friendly Stops Along the Route. Long drives often require frequent stops for you, but don’t forget that your pets need pit stops, too. If you see your dog panting during your car ride, it’s definitely time to stop. Find a rest stop that has a grassy area for pets to expel some energy and take care of their business. Be sure to keep your pets on leashes to prevent them from roaming freely in unfamiliar places. If you’re stopping overnight, call ahead to make sure your accommodations are pet-friendly.
3. Keep Your Pet Comfortable. To keep your dog calm and comfortable in the car, bring a few of your pet’s favorite things along for the ride to surround him with familiar smells. Whether it’s your dog’s bed or some favorite GREENIES™ Dental Treats, packing a few favorites can easily make anywhere feel like home. If it’s your pet’s first road trip, try some pre-travel road trip training by taking him on more frequent car rides before the trip. This will help him become acclimated to riding along so he’ll be more comfortable for the longer trip.
4. Check Your Pet’s ID. Before embarking on a trip, make sure your dog’s nametag is secured to his collar and the information is up to date. Also be sure your pet is microchipped. In the event your furry friend gets lost, it’s one of the best ways to locate him or her. You can take safety one step further by adding a GPS tracker to the collar, like the WHISTLE™ Pet Tracker. This handy device can alert your phone if your pet strays too far.
5. Avoid Bad Breath. When the family is crammed in a car, stinky dog breath can put a damper on your drive. Oral-health products such as GREENIES™ Anytime Bites Dog Treats help freshen breath and clean teeth. When your dog has a healthy mouth and fresh breath, your family can get “road-trip close” with him and share endless summer hugs and fresher kisses!
“Pets are involved in all aspects of our lives, including vacations,” Paschke says. “Help your fur family stay healthy, happy and comfortable when traveling by keeping these simple tips in mind before your next road trip.”