Tips for traveling with pets

I think most people would agree that going on a road trip alone is not as much fun as traveling with a companion. A great road trip buddy can help keep you company, break up the monotony and even offer some unexpected excitement. If you’ve ever hopped in a car with a pet feline or man’s best friend along for the ride, you know “unexpected” and “excitement” are part of your journey from Point A to Point B.

I have brought my own dogs, Scooby and Cash, on many road trips in the past and it’s always turned out to be a great experience. Many times I feared things wouldn’t work out and they would just pester me the whole time. But, without fail, it worked out to be the opposite of what I expected. Looking back, I’m convinced being prepared for this type of trip has helped create a smoother ride and kept pet problems to a minimum.

When considering taking an animal along on a road trip or vacation, give careful thought to the demands of such an endeavor. Remember, you are not alone; you need to pack for them too.

First thing to keep in mind: the duration of the trip. Portion out the food they need for each day, and then throw in a little extra just in case. Bring whatever accessories they need. Don’t forget their leash or litter box. Bring things they are familiar with like a bed or maybe their blanket. Throw in a few of their favorite toys to occupy and distract them as the trip goes along.

Something often forgotten, but definitely necessary, would be to bring a towel. Pets have a tendency to make a mess out of almost nothing; their food could go all over the car, they seem to find mud in some of the strangest places and you just never know where or when you might need to clean up.

Depending on what type of animal you bring along and the length of the trip, stops may or may not be necessary. With a cat or dog, bathroom breaks would be necessary and should include a bit of walking around and stretching of all your legs.

A suggestion from my own experience is that whenever you take a break, go to a park and throw a toy around. Or find an enclosed area where your pet can run for a few minutes. It will give them a little exercise and maybe even help wear them out. If I do this with my puppy, he will relax and sleep for much of the ride.

It’s not that much extra work to bring your little buddy with you, and trust me, it will turn a boring road trip into a fun adventure for you and your pet. Not to mention it can help keep your mind sharp and eliminate a bit of stress on the part of both you and your pet.

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