Road trips are great fun, inexpensive and flexible. They can include every last family member, including those on four paws, but before you set off making memories, there are some items you may want to check off your list before you head off to make sure your four legged friends have as great a time as you. Typically, pets come with a LOT of baggage which is why most people prefer not to fly with them. Thankfully when travelling by car, you can pack as much as you need!
The Bare Necessities
We’ll start with food, including that of the treat variety. Pets can react quite severely to a change in diet, so if you aren’t sure that you will be able to grab their usual brand abroad, make sure you pack enough for the whole trip and that includes their little treats. Don’t forget, if you usually go for canned food, you’ll need the opener or you’ll be stuck!
After food you’ll need to consider water. It’s the same everywhere right? Nope, some pets can get an upset tummy from the tiniest change in water, so if you know your pet is more on the sensitive side of life, it may be worth packing plenty of drinking water from home. Just remember they can’t sip out of a bottle so investing in a portable bowl, or if you’re travelling via caravan or R.V. an anti-spill version is a good idea!
Heading to a care free campsite? Great! You shouldn’t have too much to worry about, but don’t forget some sites will ask for proof of vaccinations before your fluffy friends will be permitted. Make sure you bring the most up-to-date versions of these and you should be happy campers.
Just like you, when in a new environment a pet will want to explore which means they could easily find themselves getting lost. Unfortunately you can’t predict the future, but you can prepare for every eventuality as best you can. We suggest making sure your pets current identification tags are up to date with the necessary information, and that you carry a recent hard copy photo of your pet with you incase you need to relocate him/her.
(Top Tip: Hard copies can easily be turned into posters if need be.)
Fail to Prepare, Prepare to Fail
Is your pet simply unable to resist that muddy puddle of sopping wet lake? Why not, they’re on holiday after all; just make sure you have plenty of throw away paper towels to wipe off their feet so your vehicle doesn’t need a valet after the trip. After a swim it may be worth packing a towel or two for drying him/her off too!
While you and I love to explore a new environment, our pets don’t always settle as easily. To combat this, make sure you bring along their usual bed and plenty of their favourite toys to make them feel at home so you can all get a good nights sleep.
Now for the first aid bag: What will you need? Well just like yourselves, everything for every eventuality. If your pet requires routine medication, don’t leave it at home, the same goes for any vitamins and supplements that they usually take. A general first aid kit is a must, as is pet insect repellent and sun cream, we aren’t the only ones that get bitten or burnt and we know how painful that can be!
Don’t forget many foreign countries require all pets to be kept on a lead no longer than six feet long, so try not to flout the rules and grab one before you leave. Alternatively if you plan on hiking or visiting open spaces, consider packing a slightly longer version so they can enjoy the day just as much as you.
TOP TIP: Like you do with your kids, capturing memories of your pets on holiday is a MUST! So don’t forget your camera! Plus we’d love to see your pictures, so why not tag us in them?