Traveling with your best furry buddy can be really fun, but you should first be aware of the risks. Pets can be like children in cars—jumping around, sticking their heads out the windows, asking you every now and then “are we there yet?” except for pets it’s more of a constant lick on the side of your face or scratching at the back of your seat. Having pets in cars can be a distraction and therefore a danger to both you and your pet—they can seriously injure themselves when you brake suddenly. And for pets not used to being in cars, riding can become a stressful experience.
If you are traveling with your pet, you can take a few simple precautions that will enable you to have a happy, safe, and comfortable journey around the UK. Rule 57 of the Highway Code provides pet owners with advice on different ways of restraining dogs and other animals in vehicles. This includes harnesses, dog cages, and pet carriers. Apart from properly restraining your pet in the car, here are a few other tips you can do to make your travel a pet- and driver-friendly one.
Safety is Key
Proper restraint not only keeps pets safe; it can also help you focus on the road. You should invest in a good, comfortable safety harness or travel kennel to keep your dog or cat safe and snug while riding. Some cars would have ample space at the back for a pet carrier; for smaller cars, there are pet seats that work like child seats. There are also harnesses for bigger dogs available from many pet supply shops. Weeks before going on a long trip, you can go on shorter trips with your pet to try the harness or carrier so that your pet can become accustomed with using it. An additional accessory you can get is a car window guard that allows you to roll your windows down without the risk of your pet jumping out of the car or even sticking his head out, which could cause injury.
Get a Pet Tag
Your pet may havealready been micro-chipped; take additional precautions and attach and ID tag to his collar containing your contact information and where you’ll be staying for your trip. Pets suddenly running off at pit stops is a common scenario.
Look for Pet-Friendly Accommodations
Check if the inn or hotel you’ll be spending the night in allows pets to go with you. Their policies in this regard may differ, so it’s ideal to ask beforehand before you make your reservations.
Pack for Your Pet
On the road, it may be impossible to get proper pet food, so make sure you pack an ample supply. Bring along favourite toys as well to keep him entertained and make him feel at home. Don’t forget to bring food and water bowls, bedding, a litter box for cats and fresh litter, disposable waste bags, vet records, water, and an extra harness and leash.
Being kept in a kennel or tied down to the seat for long hours isn’t good for pets, so take frequent breaks to let them walk around, drink water, and go potty. Always make sure your pet is on a leash whenever you let him out of the car to prevent him from running off. Never leave your pet unattended in the car—temperatures can soar and can cause heatstroke.
Follow these tips and always think of your pets’ welfare when going on a trip. Prepare well and you’ll see that it will all be worth it once you and your pet reach your destination. Have a happy and pet-friendly trip ahead!