When it comes time to take a vacation, you may not be too keen to leave your best friend at home with a sitter or send him to the kennel. And if your pet travels well, there’s really no reason you can’t bring him along. Of course, you’ll be responsible for meeting all of his needs while on the road, so here are just a few things that you simply can’t leave home without.
1. Carrier. Even animals that are not afraid of the car may eventually want a safe, comfortable place to lie down and take a nap (without getting thrown all over the cab). So bring along a carrier where you can secure your pet, ensuring his safety and comfort.
2. Leash. You absolutely cannot go on a trip with a pet without bringing along a leash. If you’re traveling with a dog, he’ll need to be walked frequently (or you’ll have to deal with the consequences in your car). Since most places have leash laws and you certainly don’t want him to run off in a strange place, keeping a leash handy is a necessity, to say the least.
3. Extra food and water. Even if you plan your trip down to the minute, there are bound to be mishaps that slow you down. So make sure to compensate for possible upsets to your schedule by packing enough extra food and water for your pet for several days (especially if you’ll be traveling through areas that are particularly empty or experience natural disasters). By the way, it’s not a bad idea to bring extra food and water for yourself, as well.
4. Medications. If your pet is on any medications (daily or otherwise) be sure to bring them along just in case. You never know when you’ll need them and you don’t want to have to go through the rigmarole of getting them refilled. You should also talk to your veterinarian about mild tranquilizers, which could be useful if your pet gets nervous or anxious while in the car.
5. Emergency contact numbers. When preparing for the worst, you should keep in mind that an automobile accident that leaves you incapacitated could be disastrous for your pet. So make sure that you have emergency contact information in your phone (or on an alert bracelet) so that first responders can reach your family or friends to come and pick up your pal. And you may also want to list the number of your vet on his collar or tags should he need emergency care (so that whoever treats him can call for medical history).
It’s not like you have to haul around extra car parts like intake manifolds, carburetors, and Cherokee transfer cases when you travel with your pet. But you definitely want to make sure that you have the essentials on hand to keep your furry friend comfortable and healthy, in good conditions and bad. Common sense will tell you what you need to bring, but checking off a comprehensive list is the best way to confirm that nothing has been left behind.