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A dog honking the horn on a car.

Travelling with a pet can be rewarding experience for the pet and his owner. Who doesn’t love seeing a happy, tongue-wagging dog poke his head out of the window to embrace the wind? But travelling with a pet can also be challenging and exhausting, especially if you and the pet are not properly prepared for the journey. To help plan your next road trip with your beautiful pup, we offer here six tips to prepare you for a smooth car trip with your pet. 

A cat riding shotgun.

Acclimate Your Pet To Your Vehicle

Not all pets love joyrides. Before you take a long trip with your companion make sure he or she is a fan of riding in your car. Take your pet on short trips, gradually lengthening the time spent in your vehicle. This is helpful for you too because it is important that you have an idea of what to expect. Does your pet whine when you’re on the highway? Does he hate being in the back seat? Does the crate slide after a quick stop? You need to have a good expectation of what can occur before a long road trip with your pet.  

Dog in the back seat.

Secure Your Pet While In Your Vehicle

Pets can be big distractions for drivers. To make sure you can still focus on the road, use a doggy gate, seat belt or well-ventilated crate. Choose whichever options works best for you and your pet and make sure you familiarize your pet with whichever option in a safe and easy-going environment. For example, if you’re going with a crate, get your pet used to the crate before your trip. 

Cat riding on the dashboard of a car.

Prepare A Travelling Kit

In your traveling kit, you should include food, bowl, treats, waste bags, grooming supplies, bottled water, your pet’s favorite toy or pillow, necessary documents like rabies vaccination record and other items you think your pet should have with you on a long trip. The important thing here is to be well-prepared to take care of your pet in a variety of situations.

Dog giving high five to a vet.

Visit Your Vet

Before a long road trip, visit your vet and ensure your companion is in good shape for travel. During your visit, have the vet check your pet’s microchipping and don’t leave without a collar that has your pet’s name and home address.

Dog looking out the car window

Plan For Your Potty Breaks

Depending on how long you plan on driving or your pet’s potty habits, you should probably plan small breaks to allow your pet to stretch and to relieve himself. The more comfortable your pet, the more enjoyable your trip. 

Cat looking out the car window

Never Leave Your Pet In A Parked Vehicle For Too Long

As a precaution, you should not leave your pet alone in a parked vehicle for long periods of time. On a very hot day, your dog can easily overheat and potentially develop heat stroke. In cold weather, your animal can freeze. Even on a mild temperature day, you might want to avoid leaving your dog in a parked car to ensure he doesn’t bite on his collar or other parts of the vehicle. As a pet owner, you’re probably aware pets can get up to mischief in the most amazing and innovative ways. We understand that sometimes you have to leave your pet in the vehicle so try to make sure it’s for a short period, no more than 15 minutes.