As summer vacation season quickly approaches, The RHS encourages you to plan ahead if taking your pets on that cross-country road trip, or even just to visit some friends at the lake. Sometimes, leaving your pet with a friend or family member or a local kennel is the best option. But, if you are heading out with your pet in tow, consider the following tips to ensure a happy and safe vacation for everyone:
- Consider scheduling a visit to the vet before you leave, to ensure your pet is healthy and able to make the trip. It is also a great time to pick-up any medications that may be required for an extended time away from home. It may be a good idea to make a list of vets in the area that you will be vacationing in, just in case.
- If staying at a hotel or resort, check ahead of time to ensure that the resort allows for your type of pet. It is also a good idea to check for local laws at your destination that may ban or restrict certain types of animals or specific breeds. Be sure to know the local laws with respect to where you can and cannot walk with your pet such as parks and beach areas.
- Pack all of your pets supplies including leash and harness, food and water from home (and a bowl for use while traveling), required medications, vaccination and ownership papers, first aid kit and a couple of favourite toys for comfort. Be sure to plan plenty of rest stops so your pet can stretch their legs and visit the nearest tree if needed.
- Pets should always be secured while travelling by car with a properly fitting car harness or in a properly sized carrier or kennel. Unsecured pets could be severely injured or injure others in case of an accident.
- Be sure your pet is properly identified with collar tags and microchip and that all of your contact information with your vet and the microchip company are up to date. Should your pet become separated from you, clear and proper identification could critical in finding your pet. Whenever possible include your contact information when away from home, such as a cellphone number, so you can easily be reached on the road.
- Never leave your pet alone in a hot car, even for a few minutes. Temperatures can rise very quickly to levels that can result in severe injury to your pet or even death. Rolling down the windows or leaving the air conditioning running is not suitable solutions.
Have a safe and happy vacation!