With summer just around the corner, you might be thinking about doing a road trip with the family. Do you bring your fur babies with you? If you plan on being on the road with your pet, here are some tips to keep everyone happy:
- Make sure your pet is microchipped – In case your pet runs and gets lost, this is the first thing people will check. Make sure that the contact information you have associated with the microchip is still correct so your lost pet can find their way back to you.
- Visit the vet – Before you go on that trip, it is best to make sure that all vaccinations have been done. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! For older pets or pregnant pets, you may want to visit your vet to check if they should even be going on the trip with you.
- Keep a digital record – In the same way you’d keep digital copies of your passport before a trip, you should also take a photo of your pet’s vaccination records with your phone’s camera. You may need this in case your pet gets sick and you need to do an emergency vet trip. Take a photo of your pet too before you leave, so you have a current one to show people if they get lost.
- Research the regulations – This will go a long way when it comes to having a hassle-free holiday. Not all beaches, parks and nature reserves in New Zealand allow dogs. So, before you head out to wherever you’re going, check if it is dog-friendly or if you need to keep your pet on a lead.
- Prepare for the mess – If you’re on a long road trip with your dog, you need to accept that it will be messy. They will shed and slobber. When you stop for a bathroom break, they end up tracking dirt and mud in your car. That’s natural. Be prepared for it with a small vacuum, seat covers, wipes and an easy-to-clean floor mat.
- Know their needs – Your dog will need access to drinking water and will need to pee. Consider this when planning your stops. Give them a few extra minutes to drink, eat, exercise a little and do their business whenever you stop. Don’t forget to pick up after your dog.
- Bring their favourite things – They’ll be in a new environment and adjusting isn’t always easy. Having something they love and are familiar with will help your pet acclimate to their new surroundings easier – it might be their favourite drinking bowl, a much-loved toy or even a blanket.
- Challenge them with something new – Provide mental stimulation with a new toy when they’re cooped up in the car. When you reach your destination, try to keep them entertained with a new game.
Your first road trip with your pet is a big milestone! We hope you have a good one and it sets the tone for more exciting adventures with your pet in the future.