But do not get disheartened; traveling with pets is becoming as commonplace as traveling with children. In this way, they really are our children. We feed them, clean up after them, bridegroom them, praise them, and love them… why shouldn’t we take them along?
Problem is, some folks think just letting the household dog jump in the back seat is all it takes. Never mind securing that loved one in a carseats or harness like we do Jr. Why not? Okay, I’ll ask it again… why not?
In case of extreme stop or crash, what are the results? Oops. Or big OOPS, depending on the size of your pet. He might lead to a serious injury or even death to you or one of your passengers if he becomes a projectile. Why take the risk?
Making the best of pet travel begins with planning. You must first think about what it is you’re doing, where you’re going, how you’ll receive there, what you need… you know, as you do when you vacation by yourself or with friends or family. Don’t exclude your pet’s needs and essentials simply because… what, he’s a pet?
What vitamins or medications will he need? Think about food, treats and water? Yes, it’s always a good idea to have a method of getting good, cold water with you. Sometimes you just can’t just find water anywhere when you need to stop.
Do you have a car seat for the pet to see out (mainly for smaller pets) or a harness or seat belt? Think about emergency contacts like doctor phone numbers or a pet hospital near your location traveling? In case you become separated, did you remember his ID tag? How else will anyone know to whom your four-legged child sits? A travel ID tag is also gaining popularity that lists the contact information of where you’re planning to stay when you get to your destination or a telephone number that could easily track you down in the event you get separated from your pet.
One of the most comforting things a pet can have with him is something familiar like a favorite toy or umbrella. Remember how Jr is? By the way, did you remember his, too?
How about a portable exercise pencil? Grandmother Sally says she loves your canine, but does she really want him running loose all over her house? That exercise pencil can be assembled in no time, and you sure won’t have to keep your eye on Grandmother Sally’s glass figurine collection every second of the day.
And when you and your canine are ready to bed down for the night, are you just going to let him sleep where he finally falls? Is that where Jr can become for the night? I do not think so. That’s right, bear in mind that pets like to sleep comfortably, too, and that portable bed sure feels a little more like home.
There’s another thing you should remember. And that is all you have to do, just remember it. And that is… confidence. Your pet knows you better than anyone else. Give him the confidence that you’re there for him and that you’re going to rejoice together. He knows your voice. You’re the one he trusts. So give him confidence in this new traveling environment. Provide him with the things he needs to make his trip as safe and enjoyable as yours, and I believe you will have many fun excursions together for years into the future. Happy travels!
He James is founder and us president of PetTravelCenter. com, an Internet resource website and online community serving the pet travel industry and pet lovers everywhere. Information about pet-friendly accommodations and destinations, RV parks, dog parks and campgrounds, tips for traveling with pets using various modalities of transportation, recreational use with pets, articles by pet experts, a photograph gallery to post images of ones pet travels, and special features, including a monthly newsletter for PTC Club members, are included in the site. In nov 2006, PetTravelCenter. com will roll out an online store of product answers to make the pet travel experience fun and easy.