Travelling with pets

Planning a trip this summer? There’s nothing better than having your best friend along for the ride.

To make the trip enjoyable for both you and your pet, here are some tips that will help you and your family enjoy a safe, happy and relaxing summer holiday with your pets along to share in the fun! 

Before you go

  • Preparation is the key to ensuring the success of any holiday, so make sure your pet is up to date with all vaccinations, worming and parasite control before you depart. Remembering to protect your pet against ticks and heartworm if travelling into areas prone to both parasites.
  • If you’re travelling north or to a hot and humid location, trim your pet’s hair to help keep your pet cool and make it easier to find ticks.
  • If you’re planning to camp, be prepared for destinations with potential risks like snakes and paralysis ticks.
  • Tags and microchips will help identify your pet in case your dog or cat gets lost. Make sure your contact details registered with your pet’s microchip are correct so you can easily be contacted if your pet goes missing.

Download our checklist to help make your trip enjoayable.

Below are some things to consider when travelling with your pet:

Has your pet travelled with you before?

It is important to familiarise your pet to travelling in the car with a few short trips before the big holiday. They will then know what to expect when going for the long drive.

Don’t forget they can be quite nervous about travelling too! Be sure to give them a good walk before you start your trip. It will burn up some of their energy and encourage them to sleep for (at least part of) the journey, which should make it more comfortable for both of you.

Secure your dog in the car

For your safety and your pet’s too –  always make sure they are safe and secure in the car in line with legistation. An unrestrained pet is a distraction to the driver and during an accident can become a dangerous projectile causing serious injury to both the pet and other occupants of the car. Cats and small dogs should be in cages while medium and large-breed dogs should have a secure harness that attaches to a seat belt or in enclosed area such as purpose built car travel crate.

Rest stop ahead

Take some time out and stop for breaks every now and then. There is nothing a pooch or feline friend probably wants more than a good stretch of the legs after they have been in the car for a while.

After they have a snack or meal, be sure to stick around until the food has started to digest. Walking your pet is a good way to start digestion, burn off excess energy and tire them out a bit which should encourage them to take a nice long nap when your journey recommences.

Travelling with pets with motion sickness.

For the best outcome, feed your pet three to four hours before the trip so that the food is well digested by the time you travel. If you do know your pet does suffer from motion or car sickness talk to your local Fur Life vet about any medication that might help.

Also be sure to stock up on your pets favourite food prior to travel. You may not be able to purchase the same food while away and the last thing you want to do is introduce them to new food while travelling.

Make sure your destination and activities will be pet friendly.

Many holiday destinations accommodate cats and dogs – but not all do. Whether its hotels or caravan parks – be sure to find pet-friendly accommodation, and check for pet restrictions at the beaches, parks and popular attractions you plan to visit. Take a look at some of the links we have provided at the end of this article listing pet friendly accommodation and parks.

Beware of hot temperatures

Whether you want to grab an ice-cream or buy a new lounge chair, you shouldn’t keep your dog waiting in the car when you’re out and about in the summer heat. Even a few minutes in a hot car can be dangerous. Open windows are often not enough to keep your pet comfortable and safe. Pets die in hot cars. When the sun is out, even if itis only a mild day, take your dog with you.

What to pack for your pet

At a minimum, you’ll need the following pet supplies for your trip.

  • Food
  • Portable or foldable food and water bowls
  • Leads
  • A favourite toy or two
  • Kitty litter if you’re travelling with your cat
  • Bedding
  • Collars
  • Identification tags
  • Doggy poo bags