Three tips for traveling with pets
More than 84 percent of pet owners bring their pets when they travel, according to the American Pet Product Manufacturers Association. And it’s no wonder—pets are great travel companions. Here are three important ways to keep them safe and happy on the road.
Pets need to pack bags, too. The following items are important for almost any trip:
- Food (and treats!)
- Plastic bags (for poop cleanup)
- ID tags and collar
- Cleaning supplies and/or stain and odor remover
Some people also like to bring a flat sheet to protect hotel beds—or the beds of the very kind hosts who are welcoming both humans and pets into their homes. A spare sheet or towel can also help keep the car clean after muddy pit stops.
Like humans, pets should buckle up in the car. Depending on their size, dogs can ride in a carrier, with a seat belt, or with a barrier between the front and back seat. These restraints not only help keep pets safe, but they also minimize distractions for the driver. Pets should not be restrained by their collars, as this can cause choking.
Several pet product manufacturers make travel products designed not only to keep pets safe, but also to help them climb in and out of the car. This helps owners avoid physical strain and possible injury from lifting pets up, which is especially important for elderly pet owners.
Another important consideration for pets when driving or flying is temperature—both heat and cold. It’s very easy for pets to overheat in a car or in the cargo hold of an airplane. Pets should not fly in the cargo hold during hot months and should never be left in a parked car. If leaving them for a short time is unavoidable, the car should be parked in shade with the windows rolled down. Owners should also be aware of the cold—pets can get hypothermia, too.
Regardless of the season, drivers should stop frequently (every 2-3 hours) on road trips to let pets use the bathroom, drink water, and get out of the confines of the car for a little bit. Pets should not eat immediately before a road trip, as this can make nausea and carsickness worse.
As much as owners love their pets, others don’t always feel the same way. Whether it’s because of allergies, anxiety, or a general dislike for dirt, dander, and extra noise, not everyone welcomes pets.
The best policy is not to assume pets will be welcome wherever they go. Travelers should call ahead to ensure hotels and restaurants are pet-friendly. Often there are additional fees involved. Travelers should ask the people they’re staying with whether pets are welcome, and if so, they should take care to abide by the house rules.
With a little planning, preparation and attention to safety, pets and their people can enjoy traveling together on almost any kind of trip. Bon voyage!
Do you have a furry friend? Pets are warmly welcomed at Holiday Retirement communities. Learn more about it at your local community today!
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