Pet Calendar: Pet Travel SafetyLarry Kay
By Robbi Hess ~ Managing Editor Pet Calendar, Crimeless Cat Executive Story Editor, Chief Cat Herder
Pet Calendar: Pet Travel Safety Celebrated January 2
Anyone who travels with their pets is aware of pet travel safety every time they travel, but the day is celebrated on January 2. As someone who regularly travels with two Devon Rexes, a miniature poodle and a Goldendoodle, I understand what goes into getting ready to get out the door and hit the road. It is almost as time consuming as it was when we traveled with our children. Sometimes I think it takes longer to get the Devons rounded up and into their Sleepypod carriers than it does to do much of anything else.
Thankfully, all of our pets enjoy travel. The Devon Rexes curl up in the same carrier and never make a peep for the entire almost four hour car ride up to our river house in Alexandria Bay, NY. The dogs get into their seatbelts, buckled in and away we go. Before we put the car into “drive” though, here are some of the things I do to assure we have a safe road trip.
Pack food and water. We never leave home without food and water. When you’re taking a four hour trip you just never know what could transpire along the way – accidents, closed roads, detours, snow storms, construction. I make certain my animals have food and water in the event there is a delay in our arrival. They have never had to eat along the trip, but we definitely stop for water breaks and potty breaks, especially in the summer.
Pack toys. Although our second house is almost a duplicate of our full time house when it comes to toys, dog beds and blankets. If we ever had to stop for an overnight on our way to the house, though I want all everyone to have something that brings them comfort from home. It would be stressful if we had to spend the night at a hotel or something and having those items will help calm them down.
Cat litter and a collapsible litter box. I have a wonderful collapsible litter box from Sturdi-Products that stows away in the back of my car with a plastic container that I fill will litter. The Devons have never had to use the litter box yet, but the one time I am not prepared will definitely be the one time they decide they need to use a litter box. I am not quite certain how it would work — logistically — but I imagine it would all work out.
Collars wtih tags and contact info. None of our pets are microchipped — even though I know they should be — but in the car they all have collars and leashes with all of our contact information on it.
An emergency contact card. I have a card in my wallet and one in the glove box with contact information for our family and both of our addresses and a note that lets first responders know that 1) we have pets in the car; 2) how many and what species 3) that we still have cats at home being pet sat; 4) photos of all of the pets. If my husband or I couldn’t speak for ourselves we need to have our pets cared for.
Vet records. We have sets of vet records at both houses and in both cars. I don’t want to have to stress if one of my pets gets sick that he or she might be given additional, unnecessary shots because I didn’t have up to date records with us. We also know where the veterinarians are along the driving route.
We have never taken a flight with any of our pets and if we ever were to do that, we would definitely be researching the airlines, the airports, what was necessary to travel with a dog and/or cat. It would not be a trip undertaken without a lot of prior planning.
Do you travel with your pets? What is your best travel tip?