Ways to Keep Your Pets Busy and Entertained During Long Trips
If you’re already planning for your next road trip with your fur baby, that’s great news! Though traveling with them can be fun, it can be just as challenging, especially when they start getting restless. So, you need to find ways to keep your pets busy and entertained during long trips.
Cats and dogs can get restless during lengthy trips. If you’re driving, it can result in them to start behaving in unsafe ways. When stress and anxiety kick in, they may suddenly hang out the window or end up jumping on your lap.
To make the trip with your pets safe, you and your fur baby need to be prepared for the ride. With that, we’re sharing with you smart ways to keep your pets busy and entertained during long trips.
But before that, you should make sure to get your pets used to the whole idea of traveling.
First Things First – Get Them Accustomed to the Trip
Not all pets are relaxed during trips. So, getting them familiar with the vehicle and the journey can be challenging.
But no matter what transportation you’ll take for the trip, your goal is to get your pets used to it. Not only that, but the carrier/kennel they’ll be in is something they need to get used to as well.
To do this, place their favorite pillows, toys, or blanket inside the carrier. Setting these items they’re fond of will give them a sense of security while inside. Plus, it’ll eventually make them realize that it’s their safe place to stay too.
Give your pets a couple of treats while they’re in the carrier/kennel to make them feel more comfortable. This may take a couple of days to a week. Once they get used to the carrier/kennel, it’s time to take them on short drives.
When they start getting used to the drives, gradually increase the duration of it. And once your pets are comfortable with a six-hour drive, then the travel for your trip may somehow lessen their stress.
Bring the Essentials
Before going on the trip with your furry buddies, make sure that you bring all the essentials necessary. Here’s a quick list of what you should bring on long trips with your pets.
When traveling with pets, always make sure to bring their up-to-date vaccination and medical records. This is necessary in case you need to make emergency vet visits. Or if you need to prove that your fur baby received his/her shots.
Pet’s First Aid Kit
As a pet owner, ensure that all the basic first aid supplies are packed for your pets. Their first aid kit should have adhesive tape, absorbent gauze pads, cotton balls, and 3% hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting. The latter must have some supervision from their vet so you can utilize it adequately when necessary.
Other items you need to include are scissors with blunt ends, tweezers, an oral syringe, antibiotic ointments, and alcohol wipes.
Clean and Fresh Water for Drinking
Like you, your pets need to have clean and fresh water during the lengthy trip. If they’re riding in cargo, make sure to leave them drinks to avoid dehydration.
There are water containers you can use called water bottle feeders. Or you can bring a bottle of water and utilize collapsible water bowls.
Cleaning and Grooming Items
Picking up and cleaning after your pets relieve themselves is every pet parent’s responsibility. That’s the reason why you need poop waste bags and wipes to clean any mess they leave.
Aside from these, pack their grooming items such as brushes, combs, towels, and other essentials you use to groom them.
A Car Seat Cover
If you’re going on a road trip with your pets, expect them to make a mess in your car. But if you want to lessen this issue, especially on your car seat, bring a car seat cover for protection.
Now, let’s get to the different ways to keep your pets busy and entertained during long trips.
Entertaining Pets During the Long Trips
It’s All about the Toys and Treats
If you’re a good pet parent who loves to shower their fur babies with gifts, that’s good. It means they’re likely to have tons of toys at home.
During lengthy trips, you need to take many of their toys with you. It’s to give your fur babies a variety of items to play with to keep them engaged.
For dogs, you can bring their chew toy during the trip, and it can keep them occupied for hours. Their chew toys often come with hollowed-out centers. It’s to stuff some of their favorite treats inside.
This type of toy will keep your pet busy, especially dogs. Your fur baby will be too focused trying to get the treats out of the toy.
New Toys for More Fun
Aside from their favorite toys, try to get them new ones to keep the variety and interest. The bigger pooches can have fun with a nylon bone or tug toys they can play with at rest stops.
Getting into a quick tug-of-war session with your pooch can tire them out physically and mentally. This will help them take some rest between the stops.
Another useful dog toy would be disc or fetch toys to get them moving. Though note that they should only be used in spacious areas for them to run.
Play with Them During the Trip
With cats, things can get slightly trickier. One of the ways to keep your pets busy and entertained during long trips is by playing with them.
Of course, you shouldn’t play with them if you’re driving during the trip. If you have companions, or if the whole family’s joining, then encourage them to play with your fur baby.
When you have others riding in the car or van, you can leave your fur baby out of their crate. But be sure to avoid doing this when you’re the only person in the vehicle.
Playing with them will make you distracted, and your eyes will shift to them instantly. Yes, you want to keep your fur baby entertained, but you need to reach the destination safely as well.
Make Them Comfortable
It’s vital to keep your fur babies comfortable and relaxed during your trip. Like you, they wouldn’t want to get stuck in an uncomfy place for a long time.
So aside from giving them toys to focus on, try to comfort them whenever you can. If you’re riding a plane/ship, be sure to comfort them before the journey, especially if they’re traveling in cargo.
Make their carrier/kennel comfortable by lining it with familiar objects from home. A shirt with your scent, their favorite blanket, or a stuffed toy they usually sleep with.
Having these will keep them relaxed, comfortable, and at ease. Plus, it will leave them focused on the item as they cuddle and snuggle with it during the journey.
That also goes if you’re on a road trip. Ensure that the carrier/kennel your pets are in is comfy and have items to keep them entertained.
Things will be much easier if your fur babies are in the car with you. That’s because you have easy access to them during stops, and you can entertain them for the time being.
Take Regular Breaks
Taking regular breaks is not necessarily a way to keep your pets busy and entertained during long trips. However, it’s necessary to do so, and during the break, you can find ways to entertain your fur baby.
The general rule when traveling with your pet is to take stops or breaks every two hours. Aside from the necessity for taking bathroom breaks, it’s an ideal opportunity to let your pets exercise.
You can let your dogs run around (on a leash, of course) while cats can be walked too. Just make sure that your felines have a secure harness on.
Tired and worn out pets make for better and easier travel for the two of you. You’ll also do yourself a big favor if you spend additional time with them at these rest stops.
Ensure that you have your pets on a leash when they exercise at the rest stop. It’s to prevent them from scampering away and getting lost in the process.
Additionally, you may find other pets around at the rest stop. That’s because some of these areas have special spaces designated for your fur babies. If your stop has this, take advantage of it.
Letting your fur babies interact with other pets for 20 to 30 minutes is much better than a leashed walk. Though if there aren’t other pets present, you’ll need to go on a run or walk with them.
If your trip consists of going through the wilderness, you can plan mid-day hikes with your fur baby. Some kitties are into this, too, so you might as well try if you’re traveling with your feline.
Talk to Your Pet
Some people may think that talking to pets is a weird thing. But for pet parents like you, talking to your fur babies is a positive way to keep them entertained. It’s also a great way to comfort them if they get anxious or stressed during the trip.
Remember, both cats and dogs are highly responsive to the voice of their humans. Calling their names will alert them, and your voice is soothing to your fur babies.
Consider the moment, like when you’re chatting at home with your pet. The mention of their name will make dogs wag their tails while cats’ ears would perk up instantly. If you can do it at home, you can also do this while on the road.
Talk to your pet about where you’re off to and how fun everything will be once you get there. This is one relaxing way to pass some time for the two of you. Plus, it’s the time you can give them pats and strokes to keep them entertained.
It may be a simple gesture. However, talking to them is among the ways to keep your pets busy and entertained during long trips.
Try Teaching New Tricks
This could be a bit tricky if you’re driving. But if you have someone else with you during the trip, teach your pets some new tricks during the ride. If you’re alone, you can still do this, but only during rest stops since driving and teaching tricks isn’t safe.
Teaching new tricks is mostly applicable to dogs. And with all the interesting sights passing by, it’ll be perfect for teaching them something new. If you’re a passenger in the vehicle, then you should find ways to teach them!
During the break, try teaching them how to balance treats on their noses or try teaching them how to fetch. Doing so will help them stimulate their minds, which will be fun and entertaining for the two of you.
The training will give your pooch adequate mental stimulation, and simultaneously, it’ll keep him/her entertained and busy. Distractions surrounding your dog can help while you train them.
If they’re able to learn a command despite the distractions, that’s good news. It means they won’t get affected by any other factors when you want them to perform the trick later.
Leave the Radio or Music on
You can leave some music on while you’re driving down the road, but make sure that it isn’t too loud. Choose music that’s relaxing and soothing to avoid them getting stressed out over loud drums or bass.
There’s evidence linked to sounds and pet behavior. Music and soothing sounds help alter your pet’s mood and health. Acoustic stimulation is known to decrease anxiety and stress levels in a lot of animals.
When traveling with your pets, don’t forget to bring everything you need and never overlook your dog. Make sure that both of you are ready for the trip so there won’t be any problem.
Remember these ways to keep your pets busy and entertained during long trips, and then everything will be fun.