Road trips are fun and exciting, and taking your pet along can make the trip even more special. These pet-friendly driving tips center around protecting your pet while traveling, and making sure your pet is comfortable in the car. A comfortable pet is less likely to distract your attention from the road while you are driving.
8 tips for traveling in the car with your pet
- Start with restraint: Put small or nervous pets in a carrier. This keeps them safer and the carrier provides a measure of comfort for frightened animals. Use a dog seat belt or harness for dogs that enjoy the ride. No matter how much your dog likes hanging out of the window, it's not safe.
- Visit the veterinarian first if you have a nervous pet: Some animals do not enjoy traveling, and an unhappy animal in the car can be a huge distraction when you are driving. Your Atlanta area veterinarian can provide something safe to relax your pet.
- Don't change your pet's diet on the road: Bring food and water from home so your pet can avoid stomach upsets. This makes the animal more comfortable and helps you avoid the risk of an unpleasant mess in your car.
- Take your pet's emergency supplies: Toss your pet's medications in your car emergency kit, as well as some cloth bandages and veterinarian recommended antibiotic spray in case of injuries while you're out.
- Soft music and favorite toys: The music that sounds awesome to you can be nothing more than a loud, unpleasant noise to your dog, especially in an enclosed space such as a car. Accommodate your pet's sensitive ears by playing soft, calming music, or leave the radio off altogether. Also, make sure your pet's favorite toy is within easy reach in case it needs to chew on something to calm itself.
- Don't leave your pet in an unventilated car: You might be tempted to leave your pet in the car while you run into a store, just for a couple minutes, but the hot Atlanta sun quickly heats up a car's interior. If you wouldn't leave your children, or sit there yourself, don't leave your pet.
- Plan stops ahead: Search the Internet or use an app in your phone to find pet friendly stops, such as hotels or a nice dog park. Planning exercise and rest breaks ahead of time makes the trip easier for everyone.
- Defensive driving: The most important thing you can do any time you are behind the wheel is drive safely. Safe driving tips are the same with or without your pet in the car.
Use these easy tips to keep your pet and your family safer when you go on the road with your pet; and contact your Atlanta area veterinarian for more information before traveling with your pet.