How to Travel Safely with your Pet

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Planning a trip with your pet? You’re not alone! Here at Andes-Straley Veterinary Hospital, we know how important it is to keep your furry companion safe and comfortable while you travel on the journey.

Safety First: Securing Your Pet

  • Seatbelts and Car Seats for Canine Companions: Dogs come in all shapes and sizes, so securing them properly is crucial. Invest in a pet-specific seatbelt or car seat designed for their weight and breed. This ensures they stay contained in case of sudden stops or swerves, protecting both your pet and yourself.
  • Crates or Carriers for Cats and Smaller Animals: For smaller animals like cats, rabbits, or guinea pigs, a secure crate or carrier is the way to go. Look for one that meets airline regulations if you’re flying and ensure it’s large enough for your pet to stand up, turn around, and lie down comfortably. Position the crate securely in your vehicle, making sure it doesn’t become a projectile in case of an emergency.

Beyond Security: Creating a Comfortable Den

  • Familiar Scents and Soft Touches: Line the crate with your pet’s favorite blanket or a towel that smells like home. Include a few familiar soft toys to provide comfort and a sense of security during the journey.
  • The View from the Backseat: Strategic placement matters! Position the crate or carrier so your pet can see out the window. A calm view of the passing scenery can be soothing and prevent anxiety.
  • A Symphony of Soft Sounds: Loud noises can be stressful for pets. Keep the stereo volume at a comfortable level and avoid sudden loud noises. Consider calming music designed specifically for animals, which can be a great way to ease their travel jitters.

Pre-Trip Prep for a Smooth Ride

  • Bladder Management is Key: Just like with children, avoid giving your pet too much to drink right before you leave. Take them for a bathroom break beforehand to minimize the risk of accidents and discomfort during the trip.
  • Treats for Tranquility: Pack calming treats specifically formulated for travel anxiety. These can be a lifesaver for nervous pets. Don’t forget to pack some regular treats as well, and for longer journeys, plan bathroom breaks where your pet can access water.
  • Creating a Cozy Cave: Covering your pet’s crate with a light, breathable cloth can create a more relaxed and den-like atmosphere. This can be especially helpful for birds and reptiles, mimicking their sleep environment and encouraging them to rest during the journey. However, some pets, especially anxious ones, may prefer to see their surroundings. Observe your pet’s individual needs and preferences.

Still Worried? We Can Help!

If your pet suffers from travel anxiety, don’t hesitate to reach out! Our experienced staff at Andes-Straley Veterinary Hospital (serving Kingsport, TN for over 70 years!) can offer personalized advice and recommendations to make your trip a success for both of you. Call us at (423) 378-4443 or visit us online for more information.