5 tips for a pet-safe road trip this summer
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5 tips for a pet-safe road trip this summer

We’re all eager to hit the road this summer – even Fido

After a long year of pandemic isolation at home, we at Dove Creek are getting excited about the prospect of a summer of freedom. Many of us will be taking to the highways to explore state and national parks, beaches, and forests. Naturally, Fido and Mister Fluffy would love to tag along. But is it safe to bring a pet on a road trip?

We’ll all have to be more cautious this year when we take to the open roads. That includes any furry companions we decide to bring along with us. However, with planning and precaution, your best friend at home can also make a fine travel companion. Here are our top five tips for keeping your pet safe this vacation season.

Pet First AId

#1 Make a portable pet first aid kit for your car

Last month was National Pet First Aid Awareness Month, and we put together a handy video to help you DIY your own first aid kit. Apply the same tactics with a mind towards portability, and you’ll have a kit that’s perfect for handling any emergencies on the road. In addition to the items we include in the video, consider keeping a digital file of your pet’s medical records, including an up-to-date list of vaccinations.

#2 Make sure vaccinations are up to date

Speaking of vaccinations, you’ll want to make sure your pet’s shots are current, especially core vaccines like rabies and distemper. However, as we mentioned last month, summertime is peak tick season. If you’ll be doing any outdoor activities with your pets on vacation, be sure to get them vaccinated against tick-related illnesses like Lyme disease as well. Speak to your vet about other vaccinations to consider before traveling.

#3 Train young pets before you go

Dogs and even cats can be great road companions, but training will make your first long trip much easier. If you’re planning to take a cat, it’s particularly important to start young as they can be a little more challenging to keep on a leash, so to speak. Start with short trips to a local park to get your pal acclimated to the car and the sights and sounds of the road.

happy cat

 #4 Never leave your pet in a hot car

Even with the windows down, a car’s interior can heat up to life-threatening temperatures, so it’s never okay to leave your pet in a hot car. Dogs and cats with short skulls, known as brachycephalic breeds, obese animals, and animals with heart disease are especially susceptible to heatstroke and, therefore, more likely to die in a hot car.

#5 Do your pre-trip research

Planning a vacation is half the fun for most of us. Don’t forget to plan for your pet, too. Research the area that you’re planning to visit to make sure there are pet-friendly hotels and activities. You’ll also want to identify veterinarians and pet emergency hospitals in the area in case the unexpected happens. Finally, if you’re planning a wilderness vacation, take time to look into the possible dangers your pet may encounter, such as snakes, bears, and even poisonous plants. Being forewarned is being forearmed.

Keep your vet at Dove Creek posted!

At Dove Creek Veterinary Hospital, we’re always excited to see what our patients are up to. We’d love to see photos of your pet on vacation, so tag us on Facebook at Dove-Creek-Animal-Hospital. If you need to schedule vaccinations or want to discuss your upcoming trip with a vet, set up an appointment with us at Dove Creek Animal Hospital. You can also call to get answers to any questions about your furry friend at (518) 627-9762.

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