Safe Travels with your Pet

As a pet owner, it’s pretty much inevitable that you’ll need to travel with your pet from time to time, whether it’s just a quick trip to the vet, a journey to the park or a longer vacation. Here are some of our handy tips to help make sure every excursion is as stress-free as possible.

1) Choose a sturdy crate or carrier
Choose a safety-approved travel carrier that’s large enough for your pet to comfortably stand, sit, and turn around in. Getting your pet used to their carrier before you hit the road will also reduce stress when the time comes (hiding treats inside will mean your furry friend associates it with something pleasant).

2) Pack a travelling kit
The contents will vary depending on the kind of pet you have, but essentials for longer journeys include: water, a feeding bowl, travel papers, plastic bags, medications, and a familiar toy or blanket to help your pet feel at ease.

3) Have breakfast before you venture out
Feed your pet 1-3 hours before you set off, so that they’re not travelling with a full tummy.

4) Build up confidence
While some pets seem to be born roadies, others will take a little longer to get used to trips in the car. It’s best to start with short practice journeys, so your pet can get used to the new scenario.

5) Safety first
Cute as they might look with their ears billowing back behind them, please don’t let your dog (or cat, or rabbit!) hang their head out of the window while you’re on the move. It’s a potential danger to your dog, yourself and other drivers.

6) Never leave your pet in the car
The interior of a car heats up at a startling rate, so never leave your pet unattended in the car, even in the shade, or with the window cracked open, as they can seriously overheat in a very short time.

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  1. I brought my 2 cats back to England a couple of months ago on a 1200 mile road trip. They were absolute troopers, they complained very noisily for the first half hour and then settled down. European hotels are a lot more pet friendly than in the UK so they stayed in our hotel rooms for the next 2 nights, the little one hid under the bed for 3 hours on our first night but then was back on form, nosily exploring everything. Make sure that the rabies jab certificate is spot on if you’re taking them abroad, I had to get one of them revaccinated as the local council vet had done it wrong 9 months earlier (and it’s impossible to tell anyone in authority there that they’ve done something wrong!). I briefed my usual vet carefully as she did the certificate, I was still panicking at Calais in case anything was wrong but all was in order. That was a breeze, it only took 10 minutes to check and they were very friendly at the pet reception centre. They’re now settling happily in their new home and glad not to be on the road any more.

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