Tips for Going on a Roadtrip with Your Pets
Planning to go on a road trip this season with your fur babies? If that’s the case, you should know the tips for going on a road trip with your pets.
For pet parents, you’ll love the idea and be glad that it isn’t just an option. Plus, it’d be a great bonding experience for you and your furry babies.
There won’t be a need for a pet sitter, and they won’t miss you because they’ll be there with you! But just like with every adventure, you need to be well-prepared.
With that, here are some tips for going on a road trip with your pets.
Plan Your Route
One of the essential tips for going on a road trip with your pets is planning out your route.
You want to make sure that the schedule accommodates time for regular stop-overs and breaks. For your pets’ comfort and relief, they need to have the chance to relieve themselves. Plus, they also need to stretch and walk around to experience the new and interesting environment.
Map-out the pit stops along the way so you can give your pets food and drinks. Plus, it’ll be the chance for them to use the litter box during each stop. This should occur about every 2 to 3 hours.
Additionally, make a schedule to take a 15 to 30-minute break every 4 hours.
To make long trips more enjoyable for you and your pet, try to make stops at pet-friendly areas.
If you have a leash and harness for your cat, that’s great! This’ll let them step outside to stretch their little legs and see the environment.
If you want to put a harness on your cat but have never utilized one, make sure to test it at home first. Doing so will help them stay relaxed and comfy in it. Plus, trying it on helps ensure that the fit is right to avoid them wriggling out.
Prepare Your Pet for the Trip
The very first tip for going on a road trip with your pets is to prepare them for it.
A lot of pets suffer from car sickness, so it’s smart to feed them a couple of hours before you get in the car. Before heading out, take a walk, play for a bit, and let out their energy. This is a good way to tire them out and let them rest and relax during the trip.
Another good way to ready your pets for the trip is by taking them out on quick short drives. See how your cats or dogs react to riding in a vehicle. It’s to let you know what to do to alleviate their anxiety and worries.
Pack a Bag for Your Fur Baby
Separate a bag for your pets and put all their essentials in it. Having one will make it easier for you to access their things during travels.
Consider all the spots you’ll visit along the way when you pack their stuff. Items you should have include:
- Food, water, and their designated bowls
- Leash and collar
- Their favorite toys or blankets
- Towels and protective clothing
- Pet wet wipes to wipe their fur in case they get dirty
- Their grooming kit
- Poop bags
- Treats and kibbles
- Updated vaccination records
Manage Everything with a Cat or Dog Organizer
You can convert your toiletry bag to an over-the-seat car organizer to keep your pet’s belongings in one place. It will make things easier and more convenient for you to speed up in rest stops.
Avoid Letting Pets Go Free in the Vehicle
One of the most important tips for going on a road trip with your pets is to not let them free. This means you should keep your cats and dogs from freely going around the vehicle, especially when you’re driving.
Keep your cats and dogs secure with a pet seat belt or have them stay in a carrier/crate. This is vital to avoid accidents while on the road. This isn’t only for your pets’ safety, but yours as well.
Keep Their Heads and Paws inside the Vehicle
By letting your pets stick their head out the window runs the risk of them jumping out of the vehicle. Moreover, high-speed winds can harm your pets’ ears and eyes.
Remember to only have your windows down if your pet is kept in a crate/carrier. Also, you can do this if they’re restrained by a secure seatbelt.
Wear the Fur Baby out!
Tired pets are usually well-behaved. So before you leave for your trip, take your pet for a quick exercise. It’s one of the best tips for going on a road trip with your pets.
Plus, doing so will help your fur babies feel more relaxed and rested during the trip after doing some exercise.
In fact, they may fall asleep during the time of travel, which is convenient for you, especially when you’re driving.
Give Your Pets Their Own Space in the Vehicle
Avoid packing your car with a lot of stuff to the point your pets have to squeeze between your luggage. Give them enough space and room to lay down and stretch for a comfy ride.
The more room they have, the more behaved they’ll stay.
Make the Ride Feel Like Home
Often, pets feel the emotions that we feel. Your cats or dogs may feel homesick during the trip just like you.
To avoid this or to lessen the feeling of being homesick, you can bring their blankets to snuggle up against. If not, you can even give them one of your shirts so they can take in your scent. This will remind them to stay calm during the trip, and it’ll also give them a sense of home.
Plus, it’ll also reduce your pet’s anxiety and will somehow keep them calm.
Positive Reinforcement Is Key and Reward Them with Treats
Trained pets are much easier to go on a trip with than pets who constantly misbehave. To make things go smoothly, opt for the positive reinforcement technique when training.
It’s not necessarily one, but it’s considered one of the tips for going on a road trip with your pets.
This technique mostly applies to dogs, and it means that when your pup follows your command, they’re rewarded with treats. When your dog jumps in the vehicle without being coerced, give them their treat as a reward. It’s to let them know that it’s what they’re supposed to do.
When you train your pet to automatically relieve themselves during stopovers without him/her running off, that’s good. If they follow, give them another treat.
Over time, your pet will learn to do what they’re taught to, whether they have treats or not. But once you start having road trips with your pet, it’d be helpful to integrate positive reinforcement.
Bring a Toy
One of the best tips for going on a road trip with your pets is to bring their favorite toy. If not, you can bring a new and interestingly exciting toy that your pet can focus on during the trip. It won’t only keep them busy, but it’ll make them happy as well.
You can create toys for your pets, then swap these out for them during the trip. This will give them variety when it comes to the toys they’ll be playing with. Hence, it will increase their interest and curiosity while keeping them behaved.
Doing this may urge your pet to associate new toys and surprises with road trips, and that’s a good thing.
Always Give Your Dog Access to Water
Your pets shouldn’t have to wait for stopovers to get their water breaks. For the trip, make sure that your pet has access to fresh, clean water.
They should be able to drink anytime, whether it’s during a stopover or not.
There are different types of water containers available in pet shops. You can choose various types depending on your preference.
If you need to go pee, so does your pet. Even when rushing, important tips for going on a road trip with your pets include giving extra time for stops.
Simply take a few minutes to allow your pets to let them do their business. During the break, this is the time to make necessary checks to see if everything’s in tip-top shape.
Car Ride Logistics with Your Felines – Where to Go ‘Potty’
If you’re going on adventures with your kitty, make sure to plan out potty breaks in your itinerary. This applies to both when you’re on the road and at the hotel.
Help your cats relieve themselves via a portable cat litter box. First, you need to find a good travel litter box then the litter your felines prefer. Then, make them familiar with utilizing this set-up before needing to use the car.
When choosing a good travel litter box, it should be large enough to let your fur baby fit comfortably inside. They’ll be able to turn and position themselves right to do their business. Of course, it should be small enough to fit in their carrier.
Know That Your Car Is Going to Get Dirty
Pets can get messy, especially when in the car, but don’t get mad at them since it’s an inevitable situation. However, there are tips for going on a road trip with your pets while keeping your car neat.
If you’re worried about your seat, covering them with a seat cover and vacuuming them after will go long ways.
When traveling with your dog and they end up getting dirty during a stop, it’d be smart to bring an extra towel and even a short hose. You can connect the hose to the nearest water hookup then rinse your dog clean.
Then, use the towels you’ve brought to dry them clean.
Things to Invest on
If you usually travel with your pet, it’s smart to invest in rubberized floor liners and waterproof seat covers.
For your pet’s crate, it’s best to line it with disposable liners. Or, you can use a couple of old towels that you won’t need afterward. Doing this will prevent or make potty accidents manageable and easier to clean up.
Also, make sure to bring additional trash bags for the dirtied towels. You may want to bring paper towels too, as well as cleaning solutions for some cleaning backup.
Don’t Leave Your Pet in the Car
Never leave pets unattended inside the car for long periods. Doing this exposes them to risks of heat stroke or hypothermia.
If you have to leave them for a few minutes, open the windows a bit. Or, consider using a portable, battery-operated fan inside the car to keep them cool. To lessen the heat, you can utilize reflective windshield covers as well.
Ensure Their Comfort If You Need to Leave Them for Bathroom Breaks
If you need to leave your pet for bathroom stops, use bathrooms in gas stations, coffee shops, or rest stops. These are easier to find, unlike restrooms in establishments like malls. This way, you can get back to your pet immediately.
Also, be sure to lower the temperature in the car during hot days and vice-versa. During summer, it’s best to leave the car and air conditioner on. Of course, ensure that the doors are locked before you leave.
If this is impossible, pre-cool the car before leaving by running the air conditioner on high for several minutes.
When traveling during low temperatures like winter, you can leave the heater on when leaving your pet. If you can’t do this, turn-up the heater too high to pre-warm the car before getting out.
Park in the Most Shaded Spot
When parking your car before leaving your furry buddy, be sure that the windshield is facing the sun. Also, use a reflective windshield sunshade to keep your pet protected from the heat while you’re out.
This one is the most important of all tips for going on a road trip with your pets. Generally, it also goes for when you’re traveling on your own.
Always drive safely.
Tone down the music and avoid making sudden stops since this will stress out your pets. Take things nice and slow and give your car an adequate gap away from the car in front of you. It’ll prevent you from having to instantly slam on the brakes and cause tension inside the vehicle.
If you want to have some tunes while driving, keep it low, and play some relaxing music. Not only that, but occasionally speak words of encouragement to your pets so they know you’re there for them.