No pet likes to be left behind on a road trip, so if you’re a kind hearted individual who loves their pet so much that you couldn’t possibly think of leaving them out, you may well have encountered the unpredictability that comes along with it.
A pet in the car isn’t a natural state of affair, so it’s no wonder that so many pets dislike travelling. On the opposite end of the spectrum, pets that love to travel can to behave erratically, causing a distraction to driving, and therefore creating a potentially dangerous situation.
There are may ways you can keep your pet entertained on road trips, ultimately making the journey enjoyable for everybody, and not to mention saving your car’s upholstery!
Introduce Your Pet to Long Drives
If your pet is already an accomplished passenger, this step may be easy. However, for beginners, give your pet a little bit of practice by taking them on several short rides and by increasing the length of the trip over time.
Feed your pet a light meal three to four hours before your planned departure time. It is not recommended to feed a meal to your pet whilst the car is moving, just to avoid choking, carsickness or spillage.
Out on the road, your pet will be exposed to countless new places and experiences; so just like you don’t like to be stuck somewhere you aren’t comfy, neither does your pet. Since they are creatures of habit, prepare them a comfort zone. If your car has a pet barrier, bring along their bed from home to lie on, or if not, get the dog used to a crate and allow it to spend time in there. A crate trained dog will appreciate the comforts of their own little habitat on the road. Whilst cats are not usually crate trained, they’ll prefer the security that a crate provides. Whichever you choose, any kind of blanket your pet uses at home/piece of recently worn clothing serves as comfy bedding and provides them with security and familiarity. The overall idea is to make the car as much like their real home as possible. Whilst this doesn’t actually entertain them, it does make them happier, and a happy pet makes a happy family.
Entertain Your Pet
A favourite toy or a long lasting chew bone with capabilities of stuffing treats inside will keep your dog entertained for hours. If the passengers have access to your crated cat, allow them to play with them. A further consideration would be to purchase a scratching post for your cat to play with in the car.
Above all however, it is important to make sure you introduce your pet to any toys you plan on bringing on the road trip before you leave home providing them with a familiar reminder of home on the road.
Talk to Your Pet
That’s right. Have your passengers talk to your pet during the trip. Repeat their name often – it’s possibly the only thing they understand – the sound of human voices chatting is comforting to them, and it helps pass the time too.
Rest Stops En Route
It’s important to make plenty of stops to allow your pet to get a rest from being in the car, as well as go to the bathroom. Just like humans, pets need to stretch and take a break from the enclosed vehicle. Experts suggest that you stop every two hours to let your pet relieve itself, stretch their legs and have a play. This is also a great time to feed your pet. Try to get a little exercise in – A tired, worn out pet makes for a better travel buddy, so you’re also doing yourself a favour by taking extra time at rest stops! Dogs may also enjoy a little playtime to meet new friends, and to get a little tired too. After all, a sleepy pet is always favoured over a restless and vocal one.
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