Summer time usually means vacation – and that likely means travel with pets! It may be a short road trip, a flight to see relatives, or something we all love – a cross country PCS! Since my dogs are “flat faced” dogs, they have major restrictions on flying, especially during warmer months… so that meant we were driving 34 hours…yes 34 hours!! However, we packed plenty of food, had lots of water, and stopped every 3-4 hours to allow them to get out, run around, and do their business. Since this is a busy travel time I wanted to give some tips that I have learned and read about when traveling with pets.
Summer Pet Travel Tips:
1. First make sure their ID tags and microchips (if they have one) are up to date with all the correct information. In addition, be sure you have the most current copy of their shot records and any other valuable information you may need concerning your pet. These are beneficial just in case for any reason you have to visit a vet or pet hospital that is unfamiliar with your pet.
2. Be sure you introduce the pets leash, carrier, and any accessories well in advance. I can tell you from experience my pugs never used a crate and so when we knew travel time was coming I would take them for rides in their crate to allow them to get used to it.
3. Pets should always ride secured in a crate and preferably in the back seat. The few times we allowed our pugs to roam in the car it was a disaster because they both wanted to sit on my lap while I drove and stepped all over the gearbox and everything else. Needless to say it wasn’t the safest choice and so keeping them secured in a crate is the best option.
4. Stop every few hours to allow your pet (mainly dogs) to run around, eat, and go to the bathroom. They sell feeders that can attach to crate doors that allow you to give your pet water and snacks when needed as well. Be sure to pack any items they are familiar with such as a blanket or stuffed animal to make them feel more comfortable.
5. Finally, NEVER NEVER leave animals in the car alone and unattended for long periods of time. Your car can heat up quickly during the summer and this can be fatal to your pet. Please do not leave your pets in the car when it is hot outside!
6. If you find yourself traveling with pets be sure to check out MilitaryPetPCS.com which is a site committed to educating and assisting active duty military families with pets to help navigate the complex logistical and financial challenges that they face.