Monday, June 2, 2014

Traveling with Pets: Keeping It Safe and Fun

Thanks to Alicia Lawrence for sharing these pet travel tips. Alicia has written for Pawsitively Pets before on how to prepare your pet for a new baby

Photo via DrivingtheNortheast

The summer travel season is fast approaching and lots of us like to travel with our pets. With so many pet-friendly hotels out there, there’s no reason not to bring our furry friends on the road with us. Keep in mind, however, that safety should always come first when traveling with pets. Whether it’s for a well-deserved vacation or that dreaded trip to the vet, you should always keep safe pet transportation a priority. Although you might be tempted to give your dog or kitty free roam, the last thing you want is for someone to jump on you while driving or scoot under the brake pedal. They sure can be cute, but also deadly.

Keep these safety tips in mind when hitting the road with your pet, and everyone will have an enjoyable trip:

Pack for Your Pet                      

Designate a bag just for your pet, and load it up with necessities as well as some special treats. Here’s what you’ll need:

  •        Health records in case of any biting incidents
  •        Any medicine your pet needs. Also, bring first-aid items, such as nail clippers and liquid bandages
  •        Your pet’s regular food and treats, so their digestive system stays regular
  •        Portable water bowls. Stick with water and not food while driving – you don’t want anyone getting sick in the car!
  •        Pooper scooper and bags
  •        Litter box and litter
  •        Leash and collar with your pet’s name and pertinent information
  •        Personal items, like beds, blankets and some favorite toys

Keep Your Pet Safe

To keep your pooch from trying to take the wheel, make sure to put up a pet barrier to keep him contained in the rear of the vehicle. Spread out some mats or liners to keep your vehicle’s carpets clean. Also, consider using a harness or restraint on large dogs to keep them safe in case of a car accident. You can also keep your dog in a crate. Make sure it is cushioned and properly restrained.

Photo via Michael Cornelius

Cats should be kept in a kitty carrier for their safety, as well as yours. Many felines are not fond of riding in cars. The last thing you want is a hissy fit on the road. Plus, your kitty could easily run off whenever a door is opened. Make sure the carrier is placed in the back seat and is fastened securely with a seat belt.

On the Road

While on the road, keep these things in mind for your pet to have an enjoyable journey:

  •   Although many dogs like to stick their heads out the window, it’s not such a good idea. Your dog risks a head injury or even a respiratory infection. Even worse, if he gets too excited he may even try to jump out the window.
  •   Make sure to stop for breaks every couple of hours. Take your dog and even your cat for a walk to give them a chance to stretch their legs. Just be sure to put the leash on before opening the car door.
  •   Be sure to park in the shade when you pull over, as cars can heat up very quickly. If you need to leave for a couple of minutes, make sure windows are cracked for air circulation. Never leave your pet unattended in a car for an extended period of time.
  •   Bring a travel litter box for your kitty. Simply fill a small cardboard box with litter. Your kitty can use it during rest stops.
  •   Buy your pet a fun new toy to play with. It will keep your pet busy if you’re on the road for a while. If you have a DVD player in your car, consider playing a video cats would like – perhaps some scurrying mice and fluttery birds.

Enjoy your trip with your furry friends. If you follow these tips, you can ensure that getting there really is half
the fun.

About the AuthorAlicia is a “Jill of all trades.” She writes about travel, health, and communication on her blog MarCom Land, works as a content coordinator for Inbound Marketing Inc., and dresses up as a Disney princess to visit kid’s birthday parties on weekends.


  1. Sadly we don't travel much. Maybe we should make an effort to go out and about. Have a marvellous Monday.
    Best wishes Molly

    1. Well, same here Molly. Think I need to get a new car first of all!

    2. Happy Monday, ladies! You definitely take a road trip with your pet! Good luck with buying that new car, Ann!

  2. Great tips for travel. I hope to keep travel with Cocco at a minimum but there will be some dreadful trips involved, even if only x30 minutes!

    1. Thanks Coccolino! These tips are always good to know just in case.

  3. As long as Harley see's his bag come out first, we're okay. That reassures him that he's going along. Great tips, so helpful to so many this time of year.

    1. Thanks for the kind words! haha btw I love Golden Doodles <3

  4. Great post and great tips! Thanks for sharing!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

  5. Roxy rides in her car seat and Torrey has a harness for safety. We are pros at stopping frequently, for us, and them.

  6. I really don't like the car so I want to stay home. That was lots of great information though!

  7. Lots of great information thanks! We've just completed a long road trip and agree with everything! Love Dolly

  8. I often feel I have packed more for the dogs then me when we travel LOL!

  9. I don’t have plans to travel this summer and neither do my peeps. At least they better not.

  10. Those are all great tips. We are planning on taking Bentley & Pierre on some road trips so Bentley will be ready for our Nashville trip in 2015!

  11. We take quite a few roadtrips with our pets and I can't stress enough how important it is to have kitty carriers to restrain the cats. I have to admit, though, that my dog lies quietly in the back seat so he doesn't wear a dog seatbelt, and he's not in a kennel. I know it would be safer for everyone if he had a seatbelt, but frankly I just haven't wanted to spend the money on one.

  12. I am sooo glad you wrote about this because I saw someone driving with their pet with their head out the window this morning and I was freaking out!

  13. mostly because they were on the freeway and this was a small dog who could slip out the window

  14. Good info! We are going to try really really hard this summer to get Coco to the beach, which is a couple of hours away. I think she'll love it.

  15. This all sounds like great advice. We don't travel much, with or without the dogs, but I'm always saying I'd like to take them on our next vacation (by car only).


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