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Since most pet owners view their furry companions as family members, it only makes sense to bring them on vacation. A survey conducted by PetRelocation found that more than half of all pet owners were planning to take their pet on a summer vacation. While most pets love car rides, traveling poses several unique challenges that owners must address.


Bring Food and Water

Some owners neglect to bring food or water when traveling with their pet, believing it’s not necessary for short distances. Granted, if an owner is only driving across town, there’s no need for food or water. If an owner’s car breaks down while he or she is traveling across state lines, though, their pet could be left thirsty and hungry until help arrives. Therefore, owners should bring a container of food and bottle of water when traveling long distances with their pet.


Trial Run

It’s a good idea for owners to conduct a trial run by taking their pet on car rides before their scheduled travel. Statistics show that one in 50 dogs suffer from car ride anxiety. By taking their furry companion on short trips to the pet store, local park or family members’ homes, owners can acclimate their dog to car travel and prevent associated anxiety.


Safety Restraint

Allowing a pet to roam free while traveling is a serious safety issue, both for the pet as well as the driver. If a dog isn’t restrained in the vehicle, for instance, he may get in the driver’s lap or underneath the steering wheel, distracting the driver from the road and causing an accident in the process. According to Kurgo, however, only 17 percent of owners restrain their dog when traveling in a car. There are a variety of car restraints available for dogs, some of which include crates, seat belt-connecting harnesses, barriers and booster seats.


Make Frequent Pit Stops

It’s important for owners to make regular pit stops when traveling with their pet. Like people, these furry companions must use the bathroom and stretch their legs. If an owner doesn’t stop or stop frequently enough, they may find themselves cleaning their car’s upholstery upon reaching their destination.

Emergency Veterinarian Contact Information

Pet owners should bring the contact information of an emergency veterinarian in or around their intended destination. If an owner is traveling across state lines, for instance, he or she probably won’t have access to their pet’s current veterinarian. And if their pet has a medical emergency and needs immediate care, the owner may struggle to find a veterinarian.


Owners shouldn’t keep their pets locked inside the home 365 days a year. Taking them on vacation helps nurture the bond with their furry companions. To make traveling a little easier and less stressful, though, owners should follow the tips listed here.


Lisa Landman is a strong advocate of adopting pets and has six rescue dogs! Want to see photos of her dogs? Check our her dog gallery or Twitter!