Stress Free pet car transport tips for your next move, road trip, or vet visit.
Whether you're moving with multiple cats on a long road trip or taking your dog on a short trip to the vet, transporting pets on a longer trip can be tricky business. Many pets don't like being removed from their comfort zone and will vocally express their dissatisfaction. Others might get motion sickness or severe anxiety on a long trip in moving vehicles. These tips can make car traveling easier for your pet and you.
- Pet carriers and crates are the safest option.
Keeping cats and dogs contained in a carrier and/or crate is a good idea that ensures they're not injured if you're in an accident or need to make a hard stop during a car trip. Look for dog crates that can be secured to the seat. You can use the seat belt to hold a cat carrier in place to prevent too much movement. (Here's a guide to getting your cat into their carrier without too much stress!)
- Keep cats and dogs in the back seat.
Your trusty co-pilot belongs in the back seat during car travel, where an airbag won't injure them if you happen to be in an accident.
- Consider medication.
Some pets who get anxious during car travel may benefit from anti-anxiety medication or a mild sedative prescribed by your veterinarian. Additionally, there are also over-the-counter nutraceuticals that can help for more milder cases to make sure you can keep your dog or cat calm. CBD is a natural option that may have calming effects on pets during a car trip. There may be some variability between individuals in how they react to these medications, so it's always a good idea to try them out at home prior to the day of your vet visit. Some pets also can get car sick! Typically these pets will vomit or drool excessively. If this is the case, your veterinarian may recommend anti-nausea medication for a long distance or short trip.
As always, talk to your veterinarian before giving your pet a sedative or supplement.
- Make time for potty breaks.
Avoid an accident in the car with frequent potty breaks at rest stops with designated dog areas. On long car journeys, dogs will appreciate a stop here and there to relieve themselves and stretch their legs. Your feline friend should have an easily accessible litter box or litter tray, such as one that's built into a cat carrier or crate. Make sure you're using an odor-absorbing kitty litter to keep the car ride pleasant for everyone!
- Pack a bag with pet essentials.
For shorter trips, you might want to bring along things like their favorite cat food, treats, or a toy. A piece of clothing or a blanket with a familiar scent that smells like you (or is sprayed with calming pheromones) can soothe travel anxiety too. For longer trips, you'll want to bring food, a water bowl, a toy, a litter box, doggie bags, leashes/collars, etc. We created a helpful checklist (one for cats and one for dogs) to prepare for a vet visit.
- Get pets microchipped for peace of mind.
This tiny chip the size of a grain of rice will come to the rescue if your furry friend ever gets lost! Stuff can happen, especially in the midst of moving or in an unfamiliar place, and a microchip can help you be reunited with your best friend.
- Never leave your pet unattended in a car.
Here's a reminder to never leave your pet in the car alone. Cars can get hot in the summer, putting your pet at risk for overheating. If you do need to leave them in the car, have a family member stay behind with them and provide a bowl of water.
- Bonus: Pet Telehealth
Papaya Pet's Veterinary Care app lets current pet parents who have established care with Papaya Pet do online vet visits! Why travel with a pet if you don't have to by letting your pet get the care they need right from your phone.
With patience, the right tools, and our approach, your pet and you have smooth travels ahead, short or long distances. If you need additional guidance on traveling with pets, don't hesitate to reach out to our veterinarians at Papaya Pet Care.
For other questions that may arise when it comes to proper pet care, look no further than Papaya Pet Care. Whether you're wondering about the best practices when it comes to dog dental care, plants that are toxic to dogs and cats, how to treat dog allergies, and more, Papaya Pet Care is here to help.