Do you travel with your pets? Are you planning a vacation that includes your furry four-legged family members? Do you know which pet essentials to pack when traveling with Fido or Fifi?
Whether your four-legged family member is canine or feline, 5 pound or 105 pounds, a little extra preparation will go a long way to ensure his ride is as comfortable – and safe – as possible. Ensure your pet arrives ready to take on that next travel adventure by your side with these top pet travel essentials and pet travel tips.
My Top 5 Must-Haves When Traveling With Pets
Whether traveling by airplane, or by road, packing the proper gear can make the difference in how your pet arrives at your destination. We’ve done several road trips with our own furry friends, and I wouldn’t leave home without each of the following items:
Pet First Aid & Medicine Kit
Accidents happen! And when they do, you want to be prepared. Much like the first aid kit you might pack for your human travel companions, also pack a similar kit with your pet in mind. Include any special medications your pet might require while traveling as well as your veterinarian’s contact information.
Not sure where to begin or what to include? Check out About Home Veterinary Medicines’s How to Build a First Aid Kit for Your Pet. Don’t want to build your own? Check out Amazon’s pre-built Pet First Aid Kit. It’s a great beginning point, though you might want to add items specific to your pet’s needs, including your pet’s medications.
Fresh Water & Water Bowl
We all get thirsty when traveling, and that includes your pets. When packing your own rehydrating liquids, be sure to also include some for your pets. Don’t forget to pack a water bowl! Not all pets can drink straight from the bottle.
In addition to packing water to keep my dog well hydrated, I pack collapsible water bowls. They are light weight, don’t take up much space, and are easy to pack in just about anywhere. Here’s several collapsible water bowls from Amazon worth consideration. I also pack this nifty H2O4K9 water bottle. It comes complete with it’s own drinking cup!
Favorite Bed or Blankets
Nothing feels quite like home as does a favorite pillow or blanket. The same goes for your pets. Bring along his favorite bed or blanket. Not only can it double as a seat cover, it will also provide him with a sense of home in an unfamiliar place. Pets can get stressed while traveling too, and having a familiar blanket or bed, with scents from home, can help ease that stress.
ID Tags with Updated Travel Contact Information
Never leave home without proper identification physically attached to your pet. Also make sure that the contact information on your pet ID is current with a contact method you will use while traveling. If you only include your land-line back home, you may not get the message nearly as quickly that Fido’s been found. Better yet, consider having your pet microchipped before your next adventure. Learn more about pet microchipping at WebMD-Veterinary.
Why is an up-to-date pet ID so crucial? Because despite your best attention, sometimes they manage to wander off. It’s happened to us. But since our dog’s collar includes a big metal plate complete with our contact information, we were all quickly reunited.
Pet Containment or Restraints
I know, these are our pampered pooches and cuddly kitties. Containment or restraints aren’t something you might want to consider. But you should! Think about it. What if you have to slam on the brakes going 60 mph? Trust me. You’ll be glad your pet is either contained or restrained in the car!
If your pet sleeps in a crate at home, use it in the car. Another alternative is a pet seatbelt or car barrier. I know, it sounds awkward, but everyone’s safety, including your pet, should be your top priority. You also don’t want Fido riding shotgun! Back seats are a better choice.
Don’t forget the leash! Rest stops are great for stretching legs, but they are not a place to let your pet run free. Quite the opposite. Rest stops are filled with pet hazards, from moving vehicles to garbage cans filled with stuff you don’t want your pet getting into.
More Tips For Traveling With Pets
It pays to be prepared, especially when traveling with pets! Here are several more pet travel tips to help you be well prepared when Fido and Fifi are tagging along on that next vacation.
Do You Travel With Pets?
Several times a year we pack up and hit the road with our 90 pound beast of a labradoodle in tow. He’s an awesome, happy traveler. Just throw his blanket in the back of the SUV, and he is good to go. On the other end of the spectrum, our previous pup, a border collie, was not a fan of road trips. Quite the contrary. Road trips sparked a high degree of anxiety in her and our travel approach with her was quite different. She needed the confines of a crate to keep her from bouncing all over the car.
Regardless of “doggie travel style'” we truly love when we can bring our 4-legged family members along for the ride. How about you? Do you travel with your pets? What’s on your must-have pet travel list? Do share in the Comments below.
Images from C.Biederman (dogs), Amazon (first aid kit & collar) and Visualistan (Infographic).