Consider having your animal microchipped by your veterinarian. This is a painless process in which a microchip containing all identification information is inserted under the animal’s skin.
Get a vet checkup. Have your vet issue a health certificate stating that your animal is healthy and able to travel and that all necessary vaccinations (recommendations and requirements change frequently) are up to date.
From soft mesh carriers to canine flotation vests to doggy lunch boxes, Trips With Pets has unique companion-animal travel gear, treats, and novelty items to help ensure that your dog will be happy and safe while traveling across town or across the country.
Although driving is less risky for companion animals than flying is, there are, of course, some precautions to take:
- Never leave your pooch alone in the car: Dogs can suffer and die when left inside parked cars, even on mildly warm days. On a 78°F day, the temperature inside a shaded car is 90°F, and the inside of a car parked in the sun can reach 160°F in minutes. Animals can succumb to heatstroke within just 15 minutes.
- To prevent sickness, feed dogs early so that they don’t eat in the few hours before departure. Exercise them several hours before you depart so that they aren’t hot and thirsty in the car or forced to “hold it” for hours after gulping down water after a walk.
- Don’t carry your dog in the bed of a pickup truck. All it takes is one abrupt stop for them to be propelled into the street; plus, heat brings the added danger that they might burn their feet on the hot metal.
- Carry water and ice in containers for rest stops. No-spill travel bowls are available in pet supply stores and online.
- For dogs who are prone to car sickness, consult your veterinarian for remedies or try ginger capsules, available at health-food stores.
- Use a kennel or restrain your dog with a canine seat belt, available from pet supply stores and catalogs.
- Never open a car window or door when your dog is unrestrained. Countless dogs have been lost at tollbooths and rest stops this way.
- Stop to walk dogs often.
- Use a window shade for the back and side windows.
- Make sure that your air conditioning is working properly, and use it while driving.
- Don’t let your dog hang his or her head out the window. The BreezeGuard, by MuttManagers, LLC, is a powder-coated, welded steel mesh enclosure that is custom-fit into a fully opened vehicle passenger window. It comes with a protective shield that restricts the amount of breeze allowed on dogs’ eyes.
Happy travels to you.