Roadtrip With My Besties
In just a few weeks my husband, 3 dogs and I will be making the 643 mile trek to my parents’ house. Its a biennial adventure that even for us seasoned pro’s – takes a good bit of coordinating.
I’ll spare you the details about wrapping and packing all the gifts, that in itself is a process best suited for another blog post, but I do want to discuss the very important considerations you must take when traveling with your pets – and don’t forget the ones you may be leaving behind.
My 10 chickens and cat do not travel well, so as a reminder – book your pet sitter NOW!
Traveling with 1 or especially 3 dogs is not an easy endeavor. Traveling with a cat can be even more complicated. The issues to keep in mind all revolve around safety and the ‘what could happen scenarios’. First I will list the must have’s for the car, then I’ll dive into what you should definitely bring with you and information to have on hand.
Traveling With Your Pets In The Car
There are various ways in which you can travel with your pet in the car; seat restraints, crates, booster
seat, zip line tether, barricade you name it BUT if you leave your pet loose in the car you just armed your vehicle with a projectile. An unrestrained 10lb animal involved in an accident where your car was traveling 50 MPH will crash into you with 500 lbs of force. An 80lb dog involved in a crash at 30 MPH will hit you with about 2,400 lbs of force – sadly no one is coming out of either situation well. Please restrain your pets when you travel for their safety, yours and others on the road.
I was rear-ended by a woman a few years back who had her Shitzu in her lap at the time but then it was running loose by the time I got up to her car – she didn’t bother to get out to see if everyone was OK. Let’s just say that particular driver received a lengthy safety warning from me after I asked if she and her dog were OK. Those people that drive with their animals hanging out of the front window – or any window for that matter are playing Russian Roulette with their pet’s lives and it makes me so sad. Don’t do it, not for one second. I don’t care if Fluffy just loves it, its dangerous and thankfully in some states like Rhode Island its illegal – talk about distracted driving!
The Must Have’s When Traveling With Your Pets This Holiday Season
- Water and bowl
- Food – more than just enough for how long you are gone, delays like snow happen
- Blankets/Bedding – the car can breakdown, the heat can go out
- Baby Wipes – they make cleanups much easier
- Favorite toy – especially one that holds their attention
- Crate or gate – confinement can be good for your pet, especially with people coming and going out of the house
- Proper and up-to-date ID’s on your pets – I add a tag with my mother’s address so people know that the dog didn’t stray all the way from Boston!
- 1st aid kit for you and them – for info on building a pet first aid kit, checkout our video
- Your pet’s rabies certificate – the tag is often not enough for proof if you ever need to show it
The Must Know’s When Traveling With Your Pets This Holiday Season
- Where is the nearest 24 hr ER vet to where you are staying?
- How to introduce your pet to other humans if new-to-them people will be hanging around
- What Uncle Rob was feeding them under the table
- Are they eating and drinking well?
- What’s the scoop on their poop? Changes in feces can be an indication of stress or a health concern like fatty foods from Uncle Rob!
- Safe places to stop for a potty break – we’re heavy travelers and tend to map out good places to stop with our dogs. Be ever so careful – most rest stops are very close to the highway which is not only a fast-paced high risk for your pet’s safety, it presents a stressful and often unusual noise which can make going potty a challenge
The holidays can be stressful, they can be fun and they can be wonderful. The more prepared you are for the safety of you and your pets – the better off you and everyone will be. Since my husband and I travel to the rural Eastern Shore of Maryland in the heart of hunting season, we also take precautions and bring down our dogs’ blaze vests. My fawn colored Boxers hopping through the forest chasing field mice certainly look a lot like deer from a distance. I do not need a hunter to mistaken them for one so we dress them in their special coats. Also, with the fallen leaves and certain lack of snow Maryland procures this time of year, it makes it easier for us to see them – that and the jingle of their rabies tag, ID tag, The Emergency Tag, and spare tag we place with my mother’s address adds a nice audio aspect to their location.
Stay safe, enjoy the holidays with your family and friends; most importantly – be your pet’s hero, keep them safe this season.
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Happy Holidays my fellow pet lovers, keep them safe and keep them close, we just don’t have enough time with them.