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Road Trip Tips For You And Your Pet

Get Up and Go: Road Trip

Road trips are a quintessential rite of passage when the Spring and Summer months are within reach. As much fun as road-tripping it to an unknown destination can be, if your pet is riding along, her safety can easily be overlooked when the rubber hits the road. I can never stress enough how important a car seat is for your pet while riding in the car (since I've drilled it into your brains about a million times)! Even a travel crate or the super soft (yet totally travel friendly) Sleepypod strapped in with the seat belt is way safer than having your pet roaming around the cab which can not only be hazardous to your driving, but your fave pooch or cat can potentially go flying if you happen to slam on the brakes. And that's never a good thing!

I've rounded up some more food for thought about what to bring with you, safety checks, and what to think about before you hit the highway on your next road trip when your furry co-pilot is tagging along for the ride.

Before you go:

  • If you know your destination, research vet hospitals before hand, so you'll know where to head in an emergency.
  • Pack up your pet first aid kit, along with plenty of food, collapsible water bowls, medicines, and toys they might need in an easily accessible tote or travel bag.
  • Make sure your pet's i.d. tags are up to date with current phone numbers.
  • Maximize your time by scouting out your destination's pet-friendly hotels, parks, and beaches, so you're not roaming around looking for them.
  • Consider prepping a travel litter box, since kitties are fussy travelers. Stress can do numbers on their digestive systems.

Check out the rest of my tips when you


Safety Checks:

  • Make sure your car seat or travel crate fits in your car, and check the straps to make sure they are secure before heading out.
  • My grandmother always warned me to have extra warm blankets, coats, and water if you are heading up to the mountains or cold areas, so I'll pass the same advice on to you!
  • Pack a flashlight for night-time walks and potty breaks.

Along the way:

  • Give your pets water at the beginning of your rest breaks, not at the end. Full tummies and lots of movement could make for a very disturbing ride . . . if you know what I mean!
  • This goes without saying, but never leave your pet unattended in the car – especially in extreme temps.
  • Stop every two to three hours for a rest and stretch break. Rest stops usually provide a good place to fetch a toy and get out some pent up energy, or just go for a nice walk . . . on a leash of course.
  • Hopefully these tips can make your road trip safe and comfy for everyone involved. Share your before travel to-do lists in the comments below!


Join The Conversation
GigglyGirl GigglyGirl 9 years
I know how much pups like to stick their head out of the window, but I don't think there is a seat belt that would let them do this. Mainly for the worry not only of eye injury but also that if their head was outside the car in a crash that would defeat the purpose of the seat belt. Good luck with trying to find the best solution for your pet, it's not an easy decision to make. I've done as much research as I can, you can private message me if you are interested.
freegracefrom freegracefrom 9 years
Is there a seatbelt that will let my dog still be able to put her head out the window?
lightheaded lightheaded 9 years
I usually pack more stuff for the dog than myself. Sad, but true.
wren1 wren1 9 years
I always give my dog water during the drive. I really need to get him a new car seat!!
aphaziak aphaziak 9 years
Does anybody have any information about a portable, travel litter box? I've been meaning to travel a bit with my kitten, but am leery of not having a litter box close at hand... Any suggestions would be a big help!
Rally-RE Rally-RE 9 years
don't forget to pack some water, too. i always travel with a huge container full of water from home (filled with ice, too). it's easy to recycle a giant crystal geyser gallon container and the top screws on tight for no leaks. and, don't forget the poop bags. i've been re-using the produce bags from the grocery store and not buying the poop bags from the pet store. one more hint (which i read about recently) put pet identification on the crate/carrier the animal is in ... with animal's name, and family friend's name and phoen number, etc. you can also request that in the event of an accident that the pets be taken the local vet and you agree to assume the costs. that way your animals will not end up at the pound if you end up taken by ambulance ... and the vet can notify your friend that they have your animals.
clareberrys clareberrys 9 years
Travel kitty litter box that would have been helpful recently...I drove 6 hours home and my one cat not only threw up in the backseat but pooped all over the blanket that was back there and I had to throw it was disgusting!
Renees3 Renees3 9 years
B-Bop USED to love the car, now he hates long trips. I want to buy him a new car seat but they are SO dang expensive. It bums me out
GigglyGirl GigglyGirl 9 years
I've been waiting for Pet to mention puppy restraints again so I could post this link to a crash test video. An unrestrained puppy on one seat in the back and a puppy wearing a petbuckle harness in the other. (they are not real dogs!) I'm planning on taking Kasey on a 10 hour road trip next month, so I was glad to see all the tips!!
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