With summer right around the corner, many pet owners will be taking long car rides to reach vacation destinations.Here's some important tips for traveling with your dog and/or cat. 

According to BluePearl Veterinary Partners, there are precautions you can take before leaving on your adventure to keep your four-legged family members safe and comfortable.

1. Never leave your pet unattended in a car, even with the windows cracked. If it’s 85 degrees outside, the temperature inside a car can rocket to 120 degrees in a matter of minutes. 

2. Always make sure you have plenty of your pet’s medication packed. Take extra to be on the safe side. (Make sure your pet’s heartworm and flea prevention medications are current.)
3. Pack a first aid kit for your pet: tweezers to remove ticks, bandaging material for any cuts, hydrogen peroxide, etc. (check the list of emergency items if you're going hiking)

4. If your pets have any ongoing medical conditions, take a copy of their medical records with you.

5. Identify the nearest animal emergency hospital to where you are staying and have the phone number handy.

6. Carry collapsible bowls for food and water.

7. Make sure that tags are clearly visible because people are more likely to catch pets if they can return them to the owner. Having your pet get a microchip for identification is a good step, too.


Cats/Kittens can be particularly sensitive to traveling. Here are tips for keeping them calm:

1. Try spraying “Feliway,” a synthetic feline facial pheromone, in the carrier about 30 minutes before leaving to help calm the feline traveler. Placing some catnip in the carrier may also serve the same purpose.

2. Always keep your cat confined in a carrier while traveling. A frightened feline can easily escape through an open car window or door without anyone noticing.

3. Be sure to carry some moistened and dry paper towels and plastic bags for potential carrier accidents.

Credit Karen Kiley