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The Holidays are upon us, and very many pet owners, that means it’s time to load our beloved pets into the car and take off to visit family or friends. Whether you and your pet are seasoned pros at traveling during the holidays or if this holiday season will be your first road trip together, there are plenty of things to keep in mind before you pull away from your driveway.
At PetPlace, we want your holiday season to go as smoothly as possible, for both you and your pet. To help make that happen, we wanted to put together this list of travel safety tips for you to keep in mind before taking off.
Without further adieu.
Before You Leave
Before you head over the river and through the woods towards your holiday destination, there are a few things you’ll want to do to make sure your pet is ready for the trip.
- Visit the Vet: It’s a great idea to take your pet to visit the vet before you head off. Especially if your pet hasn’t seen their vet in a while, a quick check-up will ensure that your pet is healthy and ready for travel. If your destination features other pets, you’ll want to have a conversation with their owners to make sure that they also are healthy and up to date on their vaccinations.
- Pack Food, Meds, and Toys: You’ll want to make sure you have plenty of food for your pet for the time that you’ll be away. A safe tip is to bring two extra days worth of food with you, in case winter weather alters the duration of your trip. If your pet requires medication, make sure you have that packed as well. Bring along some of your pet’s favorite toys to make sure they are going to get plenty of play time while they’re in a new place.
- Prepare a Comfortable Ride: Some dogs and cats are experienced riding in cars and won’t require much from you to provide them with a comfortable experience. But others will get anxious and uneasy riding in the car. Because of this, you’ll want to make sure the kennel or area your pet is riding in is both comfortable and restrained. If you dog or cat gets spooked during the drive and starts moving around, they’ll create a significant distraction to your ability to drive the car, which is a safety risk for both you and your pet. They might not like being restrained, but being safe on the road is the number one priority.
While You’re Driving
Now that you have your pet prepared for the trip, you’re ready for liftoff. Some pet owners will only have to travel an hour or two this holiday season and won’t have much trouble at all making the trip with their pet, but others have long distances to cover before they arrive at their holiday destination. Here are some things to prepare for while you and your pet are driving:
- Bathroom First: Going to the bathroom before starting off on your trip is one of the oldest travel tips in the book for good reason. Before you take off, try and get your kitty to use the litter or take your dog out to use the bathroom. While they’re at it, hit the bathroom yourself. A car ride is much easier when you’re not counting down the miles until the next rest stop.
- Keep the Windows Closed: Depending on the climate you live in this tip might take care of itself, but while traveling with your pet keep the windows rolled up and closed while you drive. While some pets like to feel the breeze, you don’t want to run the risk that they lose their footing and fall out of the window. Additionally, flying debris poses a threat to them if they have their heads sticking out the window.
- Careful on the Food: Many times giving your pet treats or food while you drive will help ease their anxiety during the trip, but be careful of how much food they’re eating. If they eat too much and need to use the bathroom, you might have a sticky and smelly situation on your hands.
- Pit Stops: You’ll want to make a few pit stops if you’re making a lengthy drive. For dogs, having a pit stop to walk around and to use the bathroom is very helpful for them. For cats, if you brought along a litter box, a pit stop gives them the chance to use it. If you’re making a stop for gas, snacks, or to use the bathroom yourself, make sure you don’t leave your pet in the car alone for too long, and make sure that you lock the doors while you’re away from them.
Give Yourself the Gift of Pet Insurance this Holiday Season
Don’t forget to get yourself something this holiday season. And if you want to get yourself a gift that benefits you and your pet, consider pet insurance. Pet insurance is the gift that keeps on giving, as it will provide you with the peace of mind that your pet is covered in an unfortunate scenario that requires expensive veterinary care.
The best pet insurance offers coverage that’s broad enough for whatever care your pet needs and with enough options to get the perfect coverage for you and your pet.