Road-Tripping With Your Pets
2nd November 2015
A few weeks ago we posted Should Your Pet Take a Vacation or Staycation?, an article about the pros and cons of taking your pooch with you on vacation, versus the merits of kennel boarding. If you’ve decided that you simply can’t leave your little fur balls behind, even at a posh pet hotel, here are a few vital tips that will make their road trip safe and fun.
First things first! Prep your vehicle
SUV’s and mini-vans are perfect for pet travel. If possible, take out the centre seats and cover carpeting with a washable rubber mat. Place your pup’s bed or crate over the centre line of the vehicle, with a low-filled water dish close at hand.
Don’t offer food while on the road – save that for morning and evening. If your dog or cat isn’t crated, purchase a travel safety belt and use that instead. These will keep your pet safely secured in case of a sudden stop, and will also prevent them from ‘roaming’ or running off when you open the car door. And make sure your pet is micro-chipped just in case you’re separated.
In the pet-friendly hotel
Once at your pet-friendly hotel, ask for their pet rules and follow them. Know where the dog walk is, use it and always clean up. Keep your dog healthy, well-groomed and on a leash. A shiny coat, clean teeth and good manners around people and other pets go a long way toward making your pup a good guest.
Don’t leave your dog or cat alone in the pet-friendly hotel room for extended periods of time. You know best what that time frame is, but for most pets it’s no more than a couple of hours before Fido may begin his boredom bark, or Fluffy expresses her annoyance by soiling the duvet. You know your pet – use your common sense.
Shopping with your pooch
When sight-seeing on foot, don’t leave your pooch tied up outside stores. Unfortunately, there are unscrupulous monsters out there who will steal your dog for any number of reasons. So shop in twos, and take turns inside the store. If you absolutely must, ask dog-friendly-looking people (think little old ladies!) if they would mind watching your doggie for a few minutes while you pick up a few things inside the store – still a bit of a gamble, but much safer than leaving them unattended.
Know when to leave!
If someone criticizes your dog in public – walk away. If your pooch has issues with another dog or cat – leave. If a child approaches and wants to pat your doggy, be nice and tell her your doggy is ‘in a hurry to get home, so maybe next time’, and move on. The idea here is to de-escalate any situation that could potentially go south.
We hope these tips are helpful for your next road trip with pets, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t say we really think you’d be much better off leaving Fido or Fluffy at one of the consumer-reviewed facilities you’ll find on PetStayAdvisor.
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