Let’s face it, the world as we know it has changed since the onset of COVID-19. One thing that hasn’t changed is a human’s need for stress relief in the form of a vacation. In the midst of a worldwide pandemic, civil unrest, and more changes than we can count, most of us are definitely feeling stressed. So it’s time to take a breath, reset, and find a way to safely go on vacation. Where will you go? How will you get there? These are both common questions for any trip we go on, but right now many people are thinking about alternative options to their typical vacations from the past. More people are driving instead of flying, and they’re staying a bit closer to home on average (driving distance vs flying distance). So skip the pet sitter and give your dog or cat an opportunity to experience something new with you.
What’s the best and safest way to ensure that you and your pet have a great vacation together? First, ask yourself: Does your dog or cat like riding in the car (yes, some cats DO like to travel!)? How about for long distances? Is your furbaby up-to-date on their vaccines? Do they get motion sick? If yes, what’s the best way to combat that? Will your pet enjoy spending the time with you more than they’ll be agitated by stepping out of their regular spaces and routines?
If those questions are a “go”, here are some tips & tricks to make a vacation with your pet just a bit easier:
- Practice riding in the car before the big road trip day comes.
- Secure dogs in crates or with seat belts and cats in secured carriers, in the BACK seat.
- If your dog or cat sleeps in a crate, bring it. Don’t anticipate that there will be an extra wherever you’re headed. Same thing if your pet sleeps in a specific bed or with a blanket or toy, bring it too.
- Pack plenty of food and a little extra. Some pets are even picky when it comes to their water, so if you know they’re partial to your home tap water and you have the extra space, bring a gallon or two on your trip.
- Make sure your pet is up-to-date on vaccinations, and take along proof.
- Carry an emergency contact card that lists your vet’s info and someone who knows your pet’s history in case you become incapacitated. Pets will often be left untreated in a car accident when their humans are unable to give instructions.
- Never leave your pet in a car alone, whether or not the car is running or the windows are down. In this sense, treat your furbaby as you would a human baby… someone is always with them.
- Bring familiar food and water bowls.
- Make sure to make plenty of rest stops(twice as many as you think are necessary). Fido will need to stretch his legs and potty too! If Fluffy will wear a harness, she may reward you with a few purrs as well if she gets to step out of her carrier.
- And most importantly, make sure your pet is wearing a collar with up-to-date identification information. Lots of things can happen when a dog or cat are in a new environment, including slipping out doors. Make sure that if that happens and someone finds your pet, they’ll be able to contact you right away to reunite you and your furbaby!
Extra COVID precautions:
- Practice the same precautions you would for yourself to prevent infections: isolate them from others who have the coronavirus and limit contact with unfamiliar animals (ie-nose greetings on walks)
- Take extra food, medicine & other supplies in case of a need to be quarantined
- Avoid flying but if it is absolutely necessary, book in-cabin travel and make sure your carrier is airline approved.