Hitting the road

Hitting the road with your furry friend

Family getaways, staying with friends… There are many reasons to go on a trip! Want to bring Fido along? The trick for doing so with complete peace of mind comes down to one word: planning.

EVERY TRIP IN ITS OWN TIME!

It is often during vacation that we hit the road for a longer trip with our pet. That being said, don’t start off by planning a car trip from Montreal to Gaspé! The key is to introduce your pet to road travel progressively. The car should be associated with something pleasant. For instance, you could first take your dog to the local park by car, have a fun playtime, and then come back, or you could simply take your doggy with you to hit the neighbourhood gas station. You can gradually make the trip longer while making sure that there are no signs of stress or nausea.

AVOIDING CAR SICKNESS!

Car sickness is not just a human issue! Be careful not to overload your dog’s stomach with food right before a car trip. On top of preventing your pet from having massive nausea, it will allow you to give them treats or to make their trip more fun by giving them a food dispensing toy! Pay attention to signs of nausea… Is your pet drooling more than usual, overly excited, or vomiting? If so, see your veterinarian quickly to find the proper solution. We wouldn’t want your companion to despise car trips because the last trip made him sick…The quicker pets get used to the car, the better. Your veterinarian can also prescribe anti-nausea medication. Other medications can reduce anxiety to make the trip more pleasant for your pet and for you.

AN IDEAL ENVIRONMENT FOR CATS

Find a comfortable carrier that will not move around in the car during the trip. The carrier must also be buckled in to stay put. If you thought you would have your cat on your lap or next to you, he could block some of your moves and your sight. Know that you can get a ticket because of this depending on the local law and regulations.

Depending on your travel time, plan breaks for your cat to visit the litter box, drink water, and eat a snack. Keep in mind that cats are escape artists: if a door is open, they will sneak out faster than you can say gone! Also, don’t have a total faith in the harness as cats have a Houdini sleeping within; many cats are able to escape from those.

THINGS TO CHECK BEFORE STAYING WITH SOMEONE

Not everyone will share our deep affection for our furry companions! Never impose your pets on others: someone could be allergic, scared of pets, or already living with a very fearful cat or a dog who doesn’t like to be in the company of other dogs. It is perfectly appropriate to ask if you can bring your pet along. If they accept, make sure to also bring all the necessities for your pet’s stay, including a favourite blanket or bed: the familiar scent will be comforting for your companion. Another good rule of thumb is to check the location of the veterinary clinic nearest to your destination. In the event of an emergency, you will be very proud of yourself for getting this information ahead of time. You can even ask your family veterinarian about this, maybe they know of a veterinary clinic where you can go. Also, if your pet is ill or has special needs, renewing all prescription drugs before your departure will save you some headaches and will prevent asking for the transfer of personal data.

NOT TAKING YOUR PET WITH YOU?

Owning pets doesn’t have to mean foregoing vacations: it just means finding the right place to take care of them in your absence.

Maybe a friend would agree to pet sitting in exchange for another service you can do!

You could also ask someone you trust to come live in your place during your time away. It’s not rare for grandparents to ask for that kind of favour from younger family members. It’s an arrangement that works for everyone!

There are also kennels who offer quality boarding services. Visit the house ahead of leaving to make sure your cat spends quality time with the staff, if he is a cuddler, for instance. If your animal requires special cares, make sure that the staff is skilled and comfortable to dispense the treatment.

If you’re only leaving for a short trip, you could leave your cat at home and ask a person you trust to swing by once or twice a day to serve food and fresh water, clean the litter box, and spend a little time with your furry friend. Boarding services are also available in some veterinary clinics.

Have more questions?

Please do not hesitate to contact the Passionimo veterinary clinic near you.

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