Family Veterinary Clinic

1413 Defense Hwy #100
Crofton & Gambrills, MD 21054


Keep Your Pet Safe When Traveling


Saturday, January 2nd, 2016, is National Pet Travel Safety Day. Pets are a part of our family, so naturally during the holidays, they come with us. More hotels and restaurants are also becoming more pet-friendly. Veterinarians and animal behavioral specialists around the country are encouraging safe travel habits for your furry friends. Here are some great tips on how to keep your pet safe when traveling.

Restrain Your Pet

It seems cute and fun to travel with your pet in your lap, but this has the potential to cause major safety issues. If your dog is moving around the car freely, it can slam into the dashboard or fly off a seat in a sudden stop. A pet that is roaming free can also be a distraction to the driver. Use a proper pet carrier, a pet car or booster seat, or a special automobile pet harness.


Use Positive Association

If you reward your pet with special treats, it is a good idea to use a different type of treat to reinforce a positive association with traveling. That way, a pet will understand that they will be given something special for going in the car. Start out with short car rides first before taking any pets on any long road trips.


Have Proper Identification

No one likes to imagine a lost pet, but proper identification is even more important when traveling. Ideally, use a collar and ID tag that can be spotted immediately. Consider a permanent form of identification, such as a microchip, in case the collar becomes separated from your pet. If you are in an accident, or even if you open the door to leave the car, an excited or scared dog or cat can easily bolt and become lost in an unfamiliar area.


Keep Pets with You

Most pet owners already know that it is dangerous to leave a pet in the car during the summer, due to the rapid rise in temperature within the interior. It is also equally dangerous to leave a pet in a car in the winter, due to the risk of hypothermia. Make sure you plan all trips ahead and know which hotels will take your animals.


Dogs and the Window

We all know how much our dogs enjoy sticking their heads out of an open window while you drive along, but, please note there is a degree of danger in that. Your pet could sustain an eye injury from flying debris. It could suffer from an ear damage due to excessive wind force. This risk is amplified by high speeds on highways.


Be Prepared

Pack a travel kit for your pet including cleaning supplies and towels in case your pet gets motion sickness. Bring along food and water bowls so they will have a familiar mealtime routine. Carry sufficient food and water for your time spent in the car and the extent of your stay. Offer your pet water or snacks periodically to avoid nausea or dehydration.

Whether your puppy has never been on a road trip or your cat is a seasoned traveler, all of these tips are helpful for a stress-free car ride. All of these tips apply to either dogs or cats. If you have any questions about how to how to keep your pet safe when traveling contact Family Veterinary Clinic. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff is here to assist all your concerns.