When you’re on the road, there are always a few essentials:
- comfy blankets and a pillow
- epic playlist
- at least three drink containers per person (coffee mug, water bottle, half-finished flat soda from two gas stations ago)
- the guest list.
I’d be lying if I wrote here that I prefer being surrounded by people while camping. Outside of gatherings and meetups, I mostly enjoy solitude or the company of a close friend or significant other. But, certain guests are almost always welcome…
BRING ON THE PETS!
Traveling with your pet can be a lot of fun and it offers a unique opportunity to expose your well-behaved pet to a new, enriching environment. It can also be a lot of work! Our non-human travel partners are important to us and we want to make sure they are comfortable, safe, and healthy so we can focus on the fun!
Check out our list of tips below and take some of the stress out of preparing to travel with your co-puplet or second in cat-mand. (I’m rolling my eyes, too, don’t worry). We focus mostly on dog care here, but a lot of it still applies to the adventurous cat or mini pig or whatever form your familiar takes.
Traveling with Pets Prep List
- Start small and local to get your pet slowly acclimated to travel before going whole hog.
- Read up on the rules and call the locations where you will stop BEFORE you book. Some campsites, vacation rentals, and NATIONAL PARKS prohibit pets in certain or all areas, even trails!
- Know where you can go for emergency veterinary services while traveling.
- Consider pet health insurance if you will be gone for a long time or if you like to shred the gnar with Fido.
- Talk to your vet first about recommendations for health and wellness.
- If your pet has behavioral challenges, ask about specifics so you can keep your pet and other pets and travelers safe. You know your pet best, so ask a lot of questions!
- Ask about motion sickness remedies and treatments in case tummy troubles come up.
- Build a basic first aid kit for your pet. Some things for humans can be used on pets, but ask your vet for details.
- Make sure your pet:
- is spayed/neutered (if appropriate)
- has their updated medications and vaccinations
- has a chip implant with updated contact info
- Bring extra food and water. If it’s hot or you’re more active, you’re drinking more and they likely will too. If it’s cold, they may need/want to eat more.
- If you use a retractable leash, bring a static leash as backup. Some areas may require it.
- Use Orange Screw Ground Anchors as a leash tie out so your buddy can rest close by while you tend to camp or relax.
- Bring a few favorite toys and activities to keep your pet entertained.
- Bring your own waste pickup bags and throw them in the trash or pack them out. It’s gross, yeah, but don’t be that person who leaves special treats for other hikers on the trail.
- Extra: During the heat of summer and deep winter snow or ice, or if you’ll be walking/hiking on rock, gravel, or sand for extended periods, consider booties for your pet. These can protect paw pads and nails/claws from hot surfaces, cuts, cracks, and abrasion.
- Does your vehicle or camper have A/C and heat that don’t depend on the engine? If not, you will need to pick pet friendly stops for when you can’t safely leave your pet in the car unattended.
- Add a MoonShade to your vehicle to help keep things cool and dark during summer.
- If they don’t mind, try misting your pet with a spray bottle of water to keep them cool between swims.
- Consider additional window shades to keep your vehicle or camper cooler.
- Extra: Portable, rechargeable fans are widely available and can really help in any season.
- Make a nice bed for your buddy so they feel comfortable and can nest like they do at home.
- Create a stable, comfortable spot in the vehicle for your pet to travel in. They’ll be less anxious with a solid resting place while in motion.
- Lift them off the ground in camp with a bed or cot and blanket to insulate them from cold ground and to keep crawling insects away.
- Bring a folding crate. Some pets prefer a small, protected space to feel safe and relaxed, especially in new surroundings. Helpful if you ever need to stay in a hotel that requires it!
Happy travels and a tail waggin’ good time to you and your pack!