With the upcoming holidays, you’re likely planning to visit family and friends. If you’re planning a road trip with your pets, it’s important to make sure everyone is prepared ahead of time. Check out our helpful tips below for a safe holiday road trip with your companions!

Practice first. If your pup doesn’t usually go for car rides, be sure to practice first. Take him for a few shorter drives before your planned trip. Does he like it? Does he act scared or anxious? Does he seem to feel sick after or during the car ride? If your practice rides reveal that your dog doesn’t like the car or gets carsick, ask us for possible solutions before you embark on your interstate road trip.

Stay inside. We’ve all seen dogs sticking their heads out the windows of moving cars, but this can lead to ear damage, lung infections, or worse. Let him enjoy the ride inside the car where he’s safe.

Properly restrain. Don’t let your dog wander around the car while you’re driving. An unrestrained pet can distract you and cause an accident. And, unrestrained pets are more likely to be injured or to cause injury to another passenger in the vehicle if an accident occurs. Keep everyone safe by using a secure and well-ventilated travel crate or a harness attached to a seat buckle in the back seat.

Stay with your pet. Never leave your pet alone in a parked car even for a few minutes. The temperature inside the car, even with the windows cracked, can quickly reach dangerous levels that can cause potentially deadly heatstroke.

Plan for pit stops. Allow extra time so you can stop at least every three hours (or more frequently if you have a puppy or senior dog) for your dog to use the bathroom, drink some water, and move around a bit.

Before your trip, microchip. If your pup somehow gets lost while away from home, he’ll be much more likely to be returned to you if he’s microchipped and wearing a collar with proper identification tags.

Questions about traveling with your furry pal? Contact the Paion Veterinary team and we’ll be happy to help!