Safe and Enjoyable Pet Travel Takes Planning

by Tom James, Found and President of

So you’re thinking about venturing out on your next trip with Fido? Sounds like a fun idea, but unless you’re well prepared, you may end up wishing you had left him at home.

Don’t get discouraged. Traveling with pets is becoming as common as traveling with children. In a sense, they really are our children. We feed them, clean up after them, groom them, praise them and love them. Why shouldn’t we take them along?

The problem is, some people think that just letting the family dog jump in the back seat is all that it takes. Never mind securing that loved one in a pet car seat or dog harness like we do with Junior. Why not?

In a case of a sudden stop or crash, what happens? Depending on the size of your pooch, he could cause serious injury or even death to you or one of your passengers if he becomes a projectile. Why take the risk?

Making the best of pet travel begins with planning. You must first think about what it is you’re doing, where you’re going, how you’re going to get there, what you’ll need, just like you do when you take a trip by yourself or with friends or family. Don’t exclude your pet’s needs and essentials.

What vitamins or medications will he need? What about food, treats and water? It’s always a good idea to have a supply of good, cold water with you. 

Do you have a car seat for your pet to see out of or a harness or seat belt? What about pet emergency contacts like your vet’s phone number or a pet hospital where you will be staying? In case you become separated, did you remember his ID tag? How else will anyone know who your four-legged child belongs to? A travel ID tag lists the contact information of where you plan to stay and a cell phone number to help track you down in the event that you are separated from your pet.

One of the most comforting things that a pet can have with him is something familiar, like a favorite toy or blanket. 

What about a portable exercise pen? Aunt Sally says she really loves your canine, but does she really want him running loose all over her house? An exercise pen can be assembled in no time and you won’t have to keep your eye on Aunt Sally’s glass figurine collection every second of the day.

Don’t forget that pets like to sleep comfortably too and that portable bed sure feels a little more like home.

One more thing to remember: your pet know you better than anyone else. Give him the reassurance that you’re there for him and that you’re going to have a good time together. He knows your voice and you’re the one that he trusts. Give him confidence in this new traveling environment and provide him with the things that he needs to make his trip as safe and enjoyable as yours. Happy travels!

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