This guest post comes from our friends at Canine Journal:
Travel can be a stressful endeavor, especially when you add pets into the mix. So don’t add more unnecessary anxiety by having a sick or bored pup or cat while on the go.
Follow these tips to ensure you’ll have a happy and healthy furry friend during your next adventure.
1. Stay Active
Humans tend to get more exercise while traveling but it’s important to make sure your travel companion does too, especially dogs! Sure, it is easy to leave him or her at home in the hotel room while you go out sightseeing, but where’s the fun in that?!? If you can, try to visit some dog-friendly places where they can tag along. Research ahead of time to find nearby dog parks and restaurants that allow pets. You could even track your pup’s activity level using an activity tracker, like FitBark.
2. Pack up on Meds
Alert your vet ahead of time that you’ll be traveling so they can get you stocked up with any medications needed for travel or continuity of treatment. If your pup is flying with you on the plane, be sure to put the meds in your carry-on bag (not checked luggage) so they’re available if you need them (or in case your luggage gets lost).
3. Get Shots
Depending on where you are traveling, your dog or cat might need vaccinations ahead of time. To prepare, be sure to research and ask your vet what is required for pets traveling to your destination. And make sure Fido is current on all vaccinations before you hit the road.
4. Bring a Pet First Aid Kit
Like any good scout, it is always best to be prepared. You never know when your pet might get a minor scratch! So put together a first aid kit with some commonly used items like gauze, tape, antiseptic wipes, a current photo of your pet in case you get separated, and a copy of your pet’s medical records and emergency contact details. Throw in some doggy or kitty aspirin, a few Benedryl and anxiety relief meds too for good measure! Read more about dog first aid kits.
5. So Fresh & So Clean
Just like humans, animals can pick up unwanted viruses or bacteria in public places like rest stops, airplanes and train stations. Bring some dog (or cat) friendly soap, toothbrushes and toothpaste so you can keep them free from germs to clean them up first thing when you arrive at your hotel and again when you get back home. Also, beware lurking giardia and other bacteria in sitting water your pet may drink in the road or a local creek.
6. Pack Appropriately
Never leave home without a collar and proper ID tag, in case your pet gets lost. You will also want a leash or carry case to keep them from running away. When it comes to apparel, doggy shoes can help protect their feet (especially on hot pavement or snowy streets) and a dog vest or jacket is a must for colder climates. Don’t forget the toys to keep them entertained too!
7. Download Apps
The American Red Cross Pet First Aid app gives you free vet advice straight to your smartphone, in case of emergency. It’s easy to use and has a ton of features, step-by-step advice, videos, interactive quizzes and more. Download in the Apple or Android store now so you have it if you need it while exploring.
8. Get Pet Insurance
The #1 way you can ensure your pet’s health along with your own financial risk - every day and while traveling - is to sign your dog and/or cat up for pet insurance. Inevitably, accidents and unexpected illnesses will arise and when they do you’ll be covered for the often high costs (so you can put your hard earned money towards your next trip instead of expensive vet bills). Be sure to get quotes from several companies since policy pricing varies by breed, geography, pet age, and more. Read more about the various pet insurance companies and get an idea of what each includes and pricing.
To read more tips, news and reviews for your pets, be sure to visit us at CanineJournal.com.
Photo Credit: Michelle Schenker, Founder/CEO of Canine Journal (from left to right are Bella, Storm and Larkin)