The holiday season is a popular time for traveling, and for many families, holiday togetherness just isn’t the same without their furry family members. Taking a holiday road trip with your pet can definitely be memorable and add something special to the season. Follow these tips to enjoy a safe and comfortable road trip with your pets:
Get a pre-trip check-up. Visit the vet before a trip to check on your pet’s vaccinations and overall health. After all, there’s nothing worse than a health issue arising as soon as you hit the road. Talk to your vet about what to do if your pet gets car sick or restless on the drive—they can likely provide activities or treatments that can make things much smoother.
Check for proper restraints. Just like the human members of your family, your pets need to be properly restrained while the car is moving. There are lots of options, including pet seat belts and car seats, as well as the ever-popular pet travel crate. The right restraint option depends on your pet’s size and personality—check with your vet or a pet store specialist for recommendations.
Pack properly. Take time to put together a good road-trip bag for your pet. Be sure to include food and treats (both what he normally eats as well as special snacks), drinking water, portable food and water bowls, and even a favorite toy to make your pet more comfortable. This one step will help your next road trip with your pet go a tad bit smoother.
Plan your route accordingly. In a lot of ways, travelling with a pet is like travelling with a newborn baby. Plan your route with places to stop and take care of your pet. If your dog normally goes outside every three hours at home, find a spot three hours down the road where you can spot and let your dog eat and run for a few minutes. Planning beforehand can help avoid stressful situations of trying to find a place to stop with a sad or frustrated pet.
Choose pet-friendly accommodations. Not every hotel is welcoming of pets, so be sure to call ahead and even make reservations if you find a pet-friendly hotel. Some hotels have limits on the type or size of pet or may charge a fee to keep a pet in your room. Campsites also frequently have pet rules, so do your research and plan ahead.
It’s definitely possible to bring your pet on a holiday road trip and keep everyone healthy, comfortable, and happy. Plan ahead and prepare for a memorable trip!