Car Travel

When traveling with your dog by car, some basic tips can make your trip both safe and enjoyable for both you and your dog:

  • Take your companion animal for a veterinary check-up and obtain a health certificate and documentation of inoculations.
  • If your pet has never been in a car, take him on short trips to condition him for the journey. Remember, traveling can be very stressful for a pet; you should try to eliminate as much stress as you can.
  • Animals should be secure during the trip and not allowed to jump around or hang out of the window. For this reason, a crate or carrier is recommended:
  • A strong, wire mesh crate, not permitted for air travel, is preferable for car trips because it allows ample ventilation. The crate must be large enough for your pet to stand, turn around and lie down in. Line the bottom with towels to absorb accidents. Attach bowls for food and water, to be given at intervals during the trip. Accustom your pet to the crate prior to the journey.
  • Your pet should wear a flat-buckled ID collar with its name, your address and telephone number. For additional protection, consider tattooing him.
  • Try to avoid traveling in extreme weather conditions. If you must travel in hot weather, do it in the morning or evening.
  • Pack a supply of regular food and water in jugs from home to avoid dietary changes and upset.
  • Exercise and water should be given during rest stops. Do not allow your pet to run loose at rest areas. No matter how well trained an animal is, this is a new experience and an accident could happen.
  • Under no circumstances leave animal alone in a parked car. It takes only minutes for an animal to develop heatstroke in hot conditions or to freeze in cold.
  • If you are planning to stay in a hotel, make arrangements prior to starting your trip. Your pet should be a welcome guest.
  • When you arrive at your destination, keep your pet in a calm, quiet area and give him plenty of time to adjust to his new environment.
  • Tranquilization is not recommended. A tranquilized dog won't be as responsive to you, and a tranquilizer may change the way your dog responds to stress. Tranquilizers may remove inhibitions. If separated from you at a rest area, your dog may become confused and run away. A normally friendly dog on tranquilizers may also snap at other travelers.

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SPCA of Texas Voices

"I'm absolutely in LOVE with Kitty (formerly Kaleigh). I know her name isn't original at all but I just started calling her that until I could think of a name and it just stuck - it's so her! I've attached two photos - she's seriously the most beautiful kitty in the world! She loves to steal tennis balls and bones from her dog sister - she thinks she's a dog! She enjoys going for walks and car rides, snuggling with mom, bird watching, drinking from the sink, playing with her pipe cleaners and getting into mom's makeup in the mornings. I couldn't 'imagine life without her. She's the absolute best!"

Laureen Jankins

Pet Owner