Taking your four-legged friend for a ride? Follow these rules

Most pet owners couldn’t imagine leaving their furry friends behind when they head out on the road. What fun is a drive or a road trip without them? Still, before your four-legged companion jumps into your car, be mindful of the potential issues and concerns that can affect the both of you while driving.

  1. Be prepared

Make sure that your pet is microchipped, wearing a collar and that his tag lists the most updated and relevant contact information should he get lost. Temporary travel tags inscribed with your destination information are good added safety measures if you’re heading somewhere overnight.

If you’re going on a long road trip and haven’t been to the vet in a while, schedule an appointment. Make sure your pet is up-to-date with necessary vaccinations and if you’re heading somewhere that may require any additional precautions (e.g. Lyme disease vaccination), take them.

  1. Take preventative measures

Many pets can feel the pain of motion sickness just like we can. But you can help increase their tolerance for the rough road by taking them on mini drives before you head out on a long distance trip. If you’re still concerned, vets can prescribe motion-sickness medication that will soothe their tummy.

  1. Put everyone in their place

No matter how much your pet may beg, never let them sit on your lap if you’re the driver. Knowing how dangerous texting while driving is, imagine how distracting and unsafe it can be to have an animal moving around on your lap. Even if they sit still – for some time – you no longer have a full grip on the steering wheel. Nevermind what would happen if you have to brake suddenly!

Your dog may love to hang out the window, with the wind flapping through their ears and tongue. But, whether it’s cars driving too close to yours, debris that can fly into your pet’s eyes or just the possibility of them falling out of the car, it’s a dangerous habit. Best to keep your pet in one place. Some use harnesses attached to a seatbelt. For long trips, the safer way to travel is in a crate.

  1. Maintain temperature control

Make sure your dog is not too cold or too hot. You’ll want the temperature to be comfortable. In the summer, you need to be particularly careful to avoid your pet from overheating. Never leave your pet alone in the car in the warm weather – even for a few minutes.

  1. Search for pet-friendly accommodations

While a growing number of hotels would welcome your furry family member with open arms and tasty treats, many others remain restrictive. Be sure to do your research and find accommodations with open pet policies.

  1. Don’t leave home without…

It’s always best to keep a checklist of the items you may need when taking your pet for a ride. They include:

– Food/food bowl
– Water/water bowl
– Blanket
– Poop bags
– Treats
– Toys
– Medications
– Brush, shampoo
– Flea comb and tick remover
– Any additional clothing

Your best furry friend can be your favourite passenger on a drive. Whether you’re staying close to home or traveling further beyond, follow these tips and you’ll both enjoy the ride.