When we travel with our three small dogs and one cat we always have a great time and they love to travel! Most people think traveling with pets in your vehicle is difficult. In reality, it just takes a little re-planning to make your vehicle pet friendly so you can take your pets on vacation with you!
1) Feeding Station
Just like we pack snacks for ourselves to nibble on we always bring along zip top bags with dry dog food, treats, and a jug of water. If we can’t stop, a small bowl on a plastic rimmed mat on the back floor makes a pet friendly place to sip water on the go. Make sure to test your pet out first to see if motion sickness is going to be an issue. A small trip around town while feeding them a biscuit would help to test them out.
2) Travel case
We always pack a bag for our pets when we travel. It is similar to packing a diaper bag for a baby. We put a few necessities in it and keep it in the trunk:
Leash – Even if you are not going on a trip make your vehicle pet friendly by having a leash in the car at all times. I can’t tell you how many times we have started to the vet’s office only to find we forgot the leash again!
Clothes – A sweater for days when the weather turns nasty while we are out is very handy. There is nothing worse than having a shivering Chihuahua try to curl up in your lap while you are driving!
Blanket – On long rides nothing comforts your pet more than a nice warm blanket. He can snuggle in it securely and it helps to cushion him from the motion of the road. When you decide to stop you can spread the blanket out on the vehicle seat for a pet friendly way to keep hair off your seats.
Meds – If your pet is on any medications keeping them in his travel case makes finding them a snap when it is time to give them a dose.
Stuffed Animals – when the stress of the trip gets to our oldest dog he whips out his teddy bear and chews on it until he falls asleep. Having a few for him to snuggle with is welcome too.
Cat Toys – So we can let the kitty out, get used to her surroundings, and have a relaxing play to make her feel less nervous. Don’t worry – she loves getting out and about! (Though she’s very happy to get home, too.)
There are alot of other things that can be added to your pet’s case to help make your vehicle pet friendly but these are the basics. You can add whatever else your particular pet may require. The idea is to put it in the case to make it easier to retrieve it when needed without much fuss!
3) Collar & Documentation
No matter what else you do always, always, always make sure your pet has a good fitting collar and ID tag on! There is nothing more heartbreaking than losing a pet on vacation and knowing there is no way for anyone to contact if you they should find him! Make your vehicle even more pet friendly by keeping a picture of your pet and his vet records in the glove box when you travel.
4) Pet Carrier & Hammock
Some pets like to roam the vehicle, like ours, but for those who are a bit more skittish a pet carrier is an excellent idea. You can also check out your local pet store for a doggie hammock. We have on for our smallest Chihuahua and she loves it! They are a bit pricey ranging from $40 to $60 dollars but they hook over the seat elevating making your vehicle pet friendly by allowing your pet so they can see out the window without having to stand on you to do it! They also offer a small bit of protection when you need to make a quick evasive maneuver in your car.
5) “Accident” Supplies
No matter how much you plan to have a good trip puppy accidents will happen. We always keep paper towels, baby wipes, small garbage bags, and an organic spray cleaner (one approved for use around pets) with us at all times. If you pet gets sick or can’t hold it you can pull over and clean up without much hassle at all.