Lots of people travel over Memorial Day weekend. Whether you're visiting family or checking out a new vacation spot, does your cat or dog join you?
Kelly enjoys coming along to her "grandparents' " summer place on a mountain lake. She loves riding in the car, but we've learned that long drives don't always go smoothly.
Here's what you need to know when taking your pet on a road trip.
1. Pack a goody bag.
You'll need to bring a leash, plastic bags for curbside cleanup, a familiar toy, a container of water and a bowl. Any old plastic container will do. I bought a portable nylon travel bowl that folds up neatly for storage. It's also a good idea to put together a basic first aid kit. And see that your pet is wearing a collar with up-to-date ID tags.
2. Exercise before you leave.
Make sure your dog has enough time outside or your cat has an opportunity to use the litter box before you leave. Take your dog for a nice long walk or play vigorously so she'll rest on the trip. Feeding just before you leave only increases the odds of needing more pit stops along the way!
3. Designate a travel place in the car.
Make sure your pet is not crawling all over and distracting the driver. Some pets do well in a crate or pet carrier. Wire barriers can confine a dog to the rear of a vehicle. Other pets enjoy being closer to the action. Kelly's doggy bed is on the back seat. She enjoys catching the view out the window, and her own bed makes her feel secure.
4. Plan for breaks.
Don't expect to make record time. If your trip is more than a few hours, you'll need to stop for fresh air and a little exercise.
5. Be mindful of the heat.
Keep the car well ventilated. Never leave your pet unattended in a vehicle. Even with windows cracked open, temperatures build up fast. If you have to leave your pet in the car for a few minutes, Pets on the Go suggests parking in the shade and using a small, battery-operated fan to keep the car cool.
Kelly and I wish you safe and happy travels!
Peggy Frezon, freelance writer and pet lover, has owned dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils, hermit crabs, turtles and fish. Visit here twice monthly to read helpful tips on caring for your pets and check out her blog.