Traveling with pets can be a major hassle, although sometimes necessary. Trust me I have had to take many road trips with pets and I have learned that you can never be too prepared! Take a look at a few of my tips and feel free to suggest some of your own!
Research pet friendly hotels in advance! The biggest mistake I have ever made was not checking if a hotel is pet friendly prior to a trip. You can sort hotels on hotels.com to include only those that are pet friendly – make sure to call and verify as well. It is worth the extra effort or you could end up driving around all night going in and out of hotels to find one that accepts pets.
One great chain hotel that always accepts pets (and for free!) is La Quinta Inn and Suites. These hotels are nicer than your average 2 star and charge no pet fees (which can often be outrageous). In addition, they are often conveniently located right along the highway. There are plenty of locations throughout the country no matter where you are traveling.
Stop for frequent breaks – Let your pet get out and walk around for a bit so they don’t get too antsy. When my cat is acting up in the car, I pull over a take a small break. Walking around a bit outside can really make all the difference. I usually try to stop in a grassy rest stop with some walkable space. A water break is always a good refresher!
Limit food along the way – I usually just feed my pet before the trip in the morning, unless it is a really long drive. Most of the times they don’t need to eat again until you arrive at the hotel. This could lead to more of a mess along the way. On the other hand, I do stop to give water along the way.
Put your pet in a cage – I used to let my cat roam the car while traveling until I got sick of attempting to clean the hair all over the place. It is better to put them in the cage and take a few breaks along the way then to risk an accident and a dirty car! Plus, the meowing strangely simmers down when the cat is inside the cage!
Make sure the cage is large enough – Pets will be happier if they have room to stretch and walk around comfortably. Being trapped in a cage doesn’t sound like any fun to you does it…same goes for a pet! Give your pet time to get used to a cage (if new) before the trip. Also make sure that the cage is well ventilated.
Use a calming spray – I use a natural cat calming spray, which I spray on the seats and bedding inside the cage. The one I use is called Nutri-Vet Pet-Ease Natural Calming Spray. It really tends to simmer the cat down while on a long car ride (and without using dangerous chemicals).
Bring with a few pet toys – This will make your pet feel more comfortable on the road!
Pack essentials in an easy to reach spot – I keep pet bowls, leashes, and other essentials in the backseat so I can get to them easily. I don’t want to be digging around a trunk for hours trying to find what I need. Having everything easily on hand equals less stress!
Roll down your windows – Animals love getting some fresh air especially when they are inside a cage. Also, every once in a while let the passengers hold the pet for a while so they can get out of the cage for a bit.
Give your pet time to eat and go to the bathroom in the morning – Get up a bit earlier to feed your pet, let them eat, and then put the food away. This should help time the bathroom break to occur before your trip, not during it!
Don’t forget the leash – You will need a leash when stopping at the rest areas. This is something that I will forget unless I remind myself in advance. I put it right in the backseat for easy access.
Feel free to share some of your personal tips!