Setting out on an expedition with a beloved pet – dog, cat, rabbit – sounds like a lot of fun, however it involves more than just loading the him or her in the back seat and motoring off. Without thoughtful preparation, the journey can be highly stressful, both for you and your animal companions.
From preparing your pet for the journey, to making frequent rest stops, Jovago.com, Africa’s No. 1 online hotel booking portal has got 7 easy tips to get you and your pet properly geared up for an awesome time on the road.
Prepare them for the trip.
Pets like humans need to be prepared for a road trip, especially if it is long distance. Before the travel date, book an appointment for a full grooming of your pet as a clean it makes for a much more pleasant experience for everyone in the car.
Take them out on a series of short drives first, gradually lengthening the time spent in the car. This will give the pet a chance to familiarize with the car and the concept of being on the road. Also, just before you head out, take a nice, long walk, so it is ready to rest and relax for the road ahead.
Make copies of medical records
Visit a veterinarian before your trip and ensure your pet is properly vaccinated. Get copies of all the required health documents for the pet and store prescriptions for medication in the case of car sickness or allergies. Having your pet’s up to date medical record, comes in really handy if your pet gets sick while on the road, as health professionals can easily treat them if they know your pet’s medical history.
No matter the size of the pet, it should have its own travelling kit so pack a separate bag for it. Items to carry should include: travel documents, food and food bowl, water, leash, medications, pet-safe insect repellent and sunscreen, grooming supplies, protective clothing, blanket and towel, poop bags and a first aid kit.
You can also pack some of the pet’s toys and favourite treats to give it a sense of familiarity. Storing your pet’s things separately allows for easier access when you need them on the ride.
Design an ID for your pet
This might sound a little extreme, but if you lose your pet along the way, an ID card with necessary details about the pet will help you find it as quickly as possible. Take the time to design an ID, even if it is just for the trip, including your mobile phone number as well as an additional emergency number for a contact in the area. Alternatively, consider attaching a microchip to your pet, as it can be the quickest way for others to help track the pet down if it goes missing.
Crate your pet
Provide a well-ventilated, safety-certified, crash-tested crate or carrier for the pet to stay in through the trip. Ensure the rack is high enough for your pet to stand, sit, lie down and turn around in, also, you can cushion the base with soft blankets or wrappers to ensure the pet is comfortable. This crate will keep your pet (dogs especially) from sticking their heads out of the car window or getting out of their space, which can be dangerous to your driving.
Unless your pet is a rabbit, desist from feeding it so much on the course of the road trip; if possible, do not feed it in a moving vehicle at all, especially if it is a long drive. A full stomach can lead to carsickness and accidents in the car. Your pet’s travel-feeding schedule should start with a light meal three to four hours prior to departure and have lots of water rather than food included to keep it hydrated.
Make Frequent Stops
Due to the distance from your point of travel to the destination, remember to stop frequently at parks and safe areas. This stops will give your pet ample breaks to walk and stretch, lessening the likelihood of a tummy accident on the course of the trip.
Nkem Ndem Vivienne,
Travel/Technology Writer, Jovago.
Mob. No: +234(0)7033853356