(Family Features) With warmer weather, people often spend more time on summer trips with family. These trips can be more enjoyable when your four-legged friends tag along, but it can be less of a vacation if your pets are uncomfortable on the road.
“Taking pets out of their homes can induce stress on both the pets and the owners, so it’s important to keep them comfortable and safe while traveling,” said Jessa Paschke, behavior and training specialist at Mars Petcare. “Surrounding them with some of their favorite things from home can help reduce any anxiety and keep your pet happy anywhere you go.”
Keep these tips in mind when taking your pet on a summer road trip:
- See your vet before you go. Be sure to visit your veterinarian prior to taking off. Especially when traveling with an older pet, your vet can do a quick check-up to help identify any potential issues that could arise while traveling. If you’re crossing state lines, you also may need to get a health certificate for your pet.
- Find pet-friendly stops along the route. Long drives often require frequent stops, but don’t forget that your pets need pit stops, too. Find a rest stop that has a grassy area for them to expel some energy and take care of their business. Be sure to keep your pets on leashes to keep them from roaming freely in unfamiliar places. If you’re stopping overnight, don’t forget to call ahead to make sure your accommodations are pet friendly.
- Keep your pet comfortable. Bring a few of your pet’s favorite things along for the ride to surround them with familiar smells. Whether it’s your dog’s bed and rope toy or your cat’s crunchy TEMPTATIONS™ Treats, packing a few favorites can easily make anywhere feel like home. If it’s your pet’s first road trip, try some pre-travel road trip training by taking him on more frequent car rides. It’ll help him become acclimated to riding along so he’ll be more comfortable for the longer trip.
- Check your pet’s ID. Before embarking on a trip, make sure your pet’s nametag is secured to their collar and the information is up-to-date. Also be sure your pet is microchipped. In the event your furry friend gets lost, it’s one of the best ways to locate him or her. You can take safety one step further by adding a GPS tracker to the collar, like the WHISTLE™ Pet Tracker. This handy device can alert your phone if your pet strays too far.
- Avoid Bad Breath. When the family is crammed into a car, pet breath can put a damper on your drive. Oral health products such as GREENIES™ Dental Treats for dogs and cats and PEDIGREE® DENTASTIX™ Treats for dogs promote fresh breath and clean teeth. With a clean mouth and fresh breath, your family can get “road trip close” with your pet and share endless hugs and kisses on the road this summer.
“Pets are involved in all aspects of our lives, including vacations,” Paschke said. “Help your fur-family stay healthy, happy and comfortable when traveling by keeping these simple tips in mind before your next road trip.”