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The do's and don'ts of traveling with pets

The Do’s and Don’ts of traveling with pets

When traveling with pets it is necessary to take the right precautions so that you and your pet have a safe and enjoyable experience. The following list of do’s and don’ts will help you ensure that your travels go as smoothly as possible.


Make sure your pet is up-to-date on their vaccinations

There are several reasons why it’s important to make sure your pet is up-to-date on all of their vaccinations. Vaccinations help protect your pet from a number of potentially serious and fatal diseases. By keeping your pet up-to-date on their vaccinations, you are not only helping to ensure their health and well-being but you’re also ensuring the health and well-being of other pets.

Many places such as kennels, daycares, dog parks, and even some travel destinations may require proof of vaccination before allowing pets on the premises. This helps prevent the spread of illness and disease to protect the health of all pets in these areas.

Research your destination and make sure it is pet-friendly before you go

Before traveling with pets it is always a good idea to make sure it is pet friendly first. By researching the destination beforehand, you can make sure that you’re able to bring any pets with you and avoid any potential issues or disappointment. This ensures that both you and your pet have a pleasant and enjoyable trip. 

Some destinations, although generally pet-friendly, may have certain limitations or requirements that you need to be aware of. For example, some places may have size or breed restrictions or only allow pets in certain rooms. Make sure you are aware of any specific requirements or restrictions first so you can plan accordingly.

Pack a travel kit

Pack a travel kit for your pet, including a lead, food, water, bowls, and any medication that it may need.

A lead is needed for walking your pet and keeping them under control, even a well trained animal could need a lead if the situation calls for it so you should always have one around.

When traveling with pets food and water are essential for keeping your pet nourished and hydrated, if you find yourself stuck somewhere or in a similar situation you might not be able to find food or water for a while so you should always be prepared.

Bowls are also needed in order to serve your pet food and water.

Necessary medication should also be included in the kit in case your pet requires it while traveling. 

Make sure your pet is kept on a lead and is wearing a collar with an up-to-date tag

Keep your pet on a lead or in a carry crate when outside of the car, and make sure they are wearing a collar with identification tags. Getting your pet microchipped is always a smart idea in case it gets lost.

Give your pet a break on long travels

Plan for rest stops and breaks when traveling with pets to give them the opportunity to stretch their legs and go to the bathroom. Finding a shoulder on a particularly long and busy road can be a good way to do this as long as the pet is under control on a lead.

Consider purchasing insurance for your pet in case of emergencies

Having pet insurance is important in case of unexpected illnesses or accidents that may occur when traveling. Pet insurance can help cover the cost of veterinary care, which can be especially important when traveling as it can help alleviate any financial burden caused by emergency veterinary treatments. Having pet insurance while traveling can provide peace of mind, knowing that you will have financial support if something unexpected happens to your pet.

If traveling internationally, some pet insurance policies cover emergency boarding costs and even the cost of flying your pet home if they are unable to travel with you. If you need to cut short your travel and return home it can be a lifeline. Travel insurance for pets may also cover other unexpected expenses, such as the cost of finding a temporary home for your pet if you are unable to care for them.

It’s also important to note that your pet’s insurance may not cover you abroad, so you should always check your policy and possibly get a separate travel insurance when traveling with pets.


Don’t leave your pet alone in the car

Leaving your pet alone in the car, especially on hot days is one of the most important things to remember when traveling with pets. There are several reasons you should not leave a pet alone in the car.

Cars can heat up quickly, even on mild days, and pets can be at risk of heat stroke if left in a hot car. In just a few minutes, the temperature inside a car can become much hotter than the temperature outside. If it gets too hot it can become dangerous and can even lead to death.

Leaving a pet alone in a car can also cause stress for the animal and can cause them to become anxious or agitated. Some pets, mainly dogs, are social animals and generally do not like being left alone. Being left in a car can be a scary and unfamiliar experience for them.

Finally it can also be dangerous for the general pet’s safety. A pet left alone and unsupervised in a car may be at risk of being stolen or getting into an accident if the car is hit by another vehicle.

Don’t let your pet stick their head out of the car window

It is important not to let your pet stick their head out of the car window for multiple reasons. First of all, it can be dangerous for your pet as objects such as debris or insects can fly into their eyes or mouth and cause injury. Additionally, the wind can be strong and can potentially cause harm to your pet’s ears or face. There is also the possibility of the animal jumping out of the window and hurting itself and potentially causing an accident.

Allowing your pet to stick their head out of the car window can also be a distraction to the driver and potentially cause an accident. It is important to keep your pet secured in the car while driving to ensure their safety and the safety of everyone in the vehicle.

In some areas, it may even be illegal to allow your pet to stick their head out of the car window while the vehicle is in motion.

Overall, it is best to avoid letting your pet stick their head out of the car window to ensure their safety and the safety of everyone in the vehicle. Keeping the pet in the boot or inside a pet cage is a great way to ensure that they do not cause an accident.

Don’t feed your pet a heavy meal before traveling

Don’t feed your pet a heavy meal before traveling, as this can lead to motion sickness and ultimately them throwing up in the car. If you have to feed your pet on a long journey try to not feed them too much or very heavy food and also make sure to give them a break after eating before starting your journey again so that they can digest their food.

Don’t let your pet roam freely in the car

Don’t let your pet roam freely in the car, as this can be a distraction to the driver and potentially cause an accident. This also means that they could be at risk of more danger in the event that the car has to brake or slow down rapidly or if there’s a crash.

Don’t allow your pet to ride in the bed of a truck

It is not safe to let pets ride in the bed of a truck for several reasons. Similarly to allowing them to hang their head out of the window, riding in the bed of a truck exposes pets to the elements, such as wind, dust, and debris, which can cause injury or irritation to their eyes, ears, and respiratory system. Furthermore, the bed of a truck is not secure and dogs can easily be thrown out of it if the driver brakes suddenly or makes a sharp turn.

Allowing a dog to ride in the bed of a truck also puts them at risk of falling out of the truck and being hit by another vehicle or getting injured. Furthermore, a dog riding in the back of a truck is not protected by any safety restraint, so they can be thrown around or flung out during an accident, putting them at a high risk of serious injury or death.

Also, in some areas, it may be illegal to transport an animal in the bed of a pickup truck.

It’s best to keep your dog inside the cab of the truck or in a securely fastened crate inside the bed of the truck for their safety, and to comply with local laws and regulations.

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