If you’ve decided to take Fido or Snowball with you on holiday, we have compiled some safety tips to make the journey a pleasant one for everyone:
- First things first: when travelling with pets to another province, find out from your vet if they need any special vaccinations and get them at least 1 month before your trip. Elderly or sickly pets should not travel, so your vet should give them a clean bill of health before the journey.
- If your pets aren’t used to car trips, acclimatise them with short car trips first. You can even just start with sitting in the car with the engine running. Remember to treat for calm behaviour!
- Pets who are walking around loose in a car can be injured during sudden stops and may also distract the driver. Cats must be transported in crates. For dogs you can obtain a net barrier or pet safety belt / harness.
- Place sun visors over the windows and turn on the air-conditioner to help keep your pets cool.
- Make regular stops – every 2 hours or so – to allow your dogs and cats to stretch their legs. Many large petrol stations have pet facilities. Most of these facilities also have water for pets, but bring along a big container of water and bowls just in case as it is safer to give your pet clean water from your own container to prevent the spread of disease.
- It can be dangerous to allow cats out of the car – even on a harness. Rather provide your cat with a litter box and food or water in the car.
- Have an activity kit packed to keep your pets entertained on long journeys. For dogs, this can include stuffed Kongs and other chew toys, and for cats catnip mice and balls with bells in them.
- Never leave your pets unattended in the car as temperatures can soar in only a few minutes, even if you leave the windows open.
- Make sure your pets are microchipped and have collars with ID on in case they get out.
- Remember to pack a fully stocked first aid kit for the trip and for your holiday. Your local vet should be able to offer advice on the kit’s contents.
- When you reach your destination, keep your cat indoors and make sure that he cannot get out of the house accidentally.
- Keep your dog on lead until you are safely inside, in case he runs off and gets disorientated and lost.
Other related articles:
- Moving with your pets
- Leaving your pets in the Kennels? Make sure they are protected from Kennel Cough
- Moving your pets