Hanging your nose out the window, licking the air and feeling the wind tickle your fur as the world whizzes past … is there anything better than hitting the road?
Family road trips are the best, packing the car and setting off on an adventure is a great holiday, but when traveling with your pets there are few extra things to add to your pre-trip checklist!
Fur babies (much like skin babies) need a lot of stuff when they are on vacation, this means doing some pooch-prep before you head off. Use the below points as a checklist to help smooth the process for your next family road trip:
Vet Check: Before you head off, be sure to take a quick trip to the vet for a check-up (your dog … not you). Discuss any concerns you might have about traveling, i.e. motion sickness, anxiety, refills of prescriptions, etc. It is also a good idea to double check their micro-chip is all OK and perhaps something for potential diarrhea and restlessness if your pet hasn’t been on the road with you before!
Vehicle Preparation: Be sure to have a way of securing your beloved baby while you are on the road. Crates, carriers and car harnesses are the perfect safety precaution while you are in motion. It is also a good idea to disengage any airbags on the seats that your pets are occupying.
Drive Ready: Make sure your fur baby is comfortable with driving before you head off, take a few drives with them in the car before you head off on the big adventure to help ease them into the journey.
Potty Breaks: Remember to stop for plenty of potty breaks to avoid any toileting accidents in the car and remember to keep your pack on lead when you get out of the car, because even the most obedient bestie can get overwhelmed or spooked in unfamiliar environments!
Travel Apps: There are a host of great apps now that can help you find dog friendly parks, beaches, and so much more. Make sure you download them before you head off so you are never lost for fun places to visit!
Munchies: It’s always a good idea to pack enough your pooches favourite food and treats for the whole trip, as you may not be able to find them while you are on the road. Don’t forget to pack a dish to serve said dinners in also!
Water: Take plenty of clean drinkable water from home, as well as a bowl for easy lapping. it is always a good idea to have water bottles on standby in case you can’t find a tap.
Bedding: I don’t know about you, but whenever I travel I like to take my favourite pillow. Your pets are the same, their favourite dog mattress bed and a familiar toy (or four) will help ease any anxiety your pet may feel on the trip.
Cleaning: Holidays are meant to be messy, so make sure you take some pet wash (preferably a dry wash so you don’t waste precious drinking water) and a towel for drying or the backseat in case of impromptu swimming adventures and it pays to have some paper towel on hand in the event of upset tummies and other dirty disasters!
ID, Photos & Documents: This is for the “just in case” scenario, while we don’t plan for our beloved bear to go missing on holidays, in the event that it does happen for any reason, having their ID up to date, a current photo to show people and their documents ready for proof of ownership is just a smart precaution.
Bugs: Mozzies, midges and the sun affect dogs as much as humans, so having something handy to help ease the itches and burns is always a good idea.
Medication: Always remember to pack any vitamins, flea and tick chews, supplements, or medications they might need while you are away.
First Aid: A first aid kit or first aid booklet is a great idea to have on hand in case of an animal emergency. The RSPCA Pet First Aid booklet is always good to have on hand in case of emergencies. Also, NEVER leave your dog unattended in a car, not for “just a minute, or mild weather, NOT for any reason- It’s just not worth it!
Exercise Gear: Whether you are hitting the beach or the bush, a cache of fun toys, collars, dog leads and harnesses will make for a perfect getaway for your pampered pooch. And don’t forget to take a roll of baggies to clean up as you go!
Rules and Regulations: Whether you are camping on an island or hitting the caravan parks, it is always a good idea to call ahead and remind them that you are traveling with a pet. Places like Moreton Island are national parks, which means you cannot take domestic animals on the island, and some caravan parks might have an “on-leash” at all times policy. It is always best to be on top of the rules before you arrive to avoid any unpleasantness.
Finally, be the pet owner you want to see. Following the rules and leash laws of the areas you are visiting, disposing of pet waste and general good manners is always a great way to travel so that you, your family, your best mate and everyone else around you can enjoy a most amazing adventure!
We love holidaying with our boys and we love hearing about awesome fur family holidays! Send us a pic of you and your family on your next break with a few words about who, when and where and we’ll add you to our holiday wall of fame!