Labor Day is fast approaching and for states with the shortest amount of summertime weather in the Midwest this might be the last trip to the beach or weekend camping for most folks. With the long weekend ahead and gas prices finally dropping, millions hit the road for a last taste of summer, furry friends in tow.
Love them or hate them, road trip and family vacations are stressful for the adults in charge so add your furry children to the mix getting where you need to go might be more of a hassle. Just remember that as members of the family you wanted your pets with you for the holiday happiness and plan ahead in detail.
Some tips include:
-If possible restrain dogs with car harness,carriers, or seat dividers to keep pets from wandering in the front seat. If possible seat a human near to them to keep them calm. For dogs in carriers and cats write “Live Animal” in tape on the top and both sides of the carrier so in case of accident the emergency crew will make sure to attend to their needs if their humans have to abandon the car or are unresponsive.
-Mapping out your route and taking into consideration the needs of dogs and cats to stretch their paws. Make sure about about every two hours your fur ball gets a chance to walk around and is fed and given water during those breaks.
-Just as you carry water, blankets, and small car food for the humans in case of car problems that leave you stranded, plan for pets in the emergency kit with small treats and a small bag or can of food. Provide a food dish or small container they can drink from as well.
-If it too warm for just cracking the window, keep the air conditioner running. Never leave pets in a hot car for any amount of time by themselves in the summer.
-Have proper identification tags on your pets collar in case they wander off, especially for cats which are seldom ever returned home when lost.
-If there is a stop over find a pet friendly hotel. Do know most have restrictions on particular sizes and weights as well as how many pets may be in a room. Some also insist an animal must be kenneled when the owner is not present or that owner may not leave the room at all without taking their animal with. Most have an additional damage deposit and will only take in advance reservations so be sure to call early. Some hotel chains will provide food, dog and cat dishes, and an animal bed upon request but don’t count on it.
-Never walk a dog or cat unleashed in an unfamiliar area. No matter how well they are trained it doesn’t mean they can resist the temptation of exploring if they get the chance.
-When camping never let animals be alone outside in the case of predators in the wilderness, animal traps that may have been set up by hunters, or lakes or streams in which pets not used to swimming could be swept under.
-Always have an animal life vest for dogs when on boats no matter their swimming ability.
-When camping or having having outdoor bonfires be sure to watch pets near the fire as they have the tendency to sniff at it.
-Have a recent picture of your pet on hand always in case they become lost.