The number of dogs, cats and other critters on the family vacation is growing with almost 40 percent of American pet owners traveling with pets each year.
That statistic aligns with the human, and the travel trend is resulting in innovative products that make it easier to hit the road with a dog or cat.
To keep pets safe and healthy during travel and reduce trip stress
requires planning and patience.
Be sure your pet is healthy enough for travel. An aging dog with hip pain may not be a great hiking partner while a cat with urinary tract infection problems will undoubtedly leave a mark where it goes. A checkup at the veterinarian can determine a pet's fitness for travel.
Make sure a pets temperament is suited for travel.
Take a dog, cat or other pet on short car rides to monitor stress levels and reactions. A screaming, hissing cat throwing his weight against a cat carrier will ruin even a shore trip, while an agitated dog unrestrained in a car can be dangerous. Pets may become used to being in a vehicle the more often they are passenger's, so gradually lengthening the
drives may help.
A dog should never stick its head outside a car window. While dogs love sniffing fresh air, their eyes are exposed to dirt, rocks and dust and wind can cause ear irritation and damage.
Dogs have even come down with lung infections from riding
with their heads out of car windows.
Rest stops are a good place to walk a dog and allow it to relive itself.
Stretching and exercising for pets and humans are essential on long drives.
Never leave an animal in a car on a hot day, even for a few minutes.
In fact, it is now illegal in some states to leave animals in hot cars.