For some pet parents, a trip is never complete without their favorite canine companion. Traveling, however, can be highly stressful for some pets. With some basic supplies and careful preparation, you can make your trip safe and happy for everyone involved.

Make sure your pet is safe and secure in a well-ventilated, appropriately-sized crate. An appropriately-sized crate is one that your pet is easily able to stand, sit, lie down, and turn around in. Make sure the crate is properly secured so it does not slide and shift in the event of a quick stop. 

Feed your pet at least three hours before the car ride. Never feed your pet while in a moving vehicle. 

Keep your pet in the backseat of your car. If an airbag deploys and your pet is in the front seat, he can be seriously injured. 

Don’t allow your pet to ride with his head outside the window. Your pet could be injured by flying objects or debris. Never transport a pet in the back of an open pickup truck. 

Allow time for frequent rest stops for your pet to exercise and relieve himself. 

Make sure your pet is microchipped and has an identification tag with up-to-date contact information. Also make sure your pet has a temporary travel identification tag indicating an address and telephone number where you or a contact can be reached during your travels. 

Never leave a pet alone in a parked car. On a hot day, even with the windows open, your car can reach a dangerous temperature in as little as 10 minutes. 

What to bring: Your Pet’s Travel Kit

  • Travel papers (such as your pet’s vaccination records, just in case of emergency)
  • Food
  • Food and Water Dishes
  • Bedding
  • Leash
  • Waste scoop
  • Plastic bags
  • Grooming supplies
  • Medication
  • Pet first-aid kit (for more information, please see our Preparing Your Pet For Disaster article)
  • Chew Toys

If you would like information from an Anti-Cruelty Society Behavior Specialist regarding this behavior topic, please call 312-645-8253 or email behavior@anticruelty.org.

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