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Pets on a Road Trip: Driving Long Distance with Your Four-Legged Friend

So you've decided to drive to your next vacation destination, but what are you going to do with your furry friend? Although bringing a pet along on a long car ride may not sound appealing when you are already in an over-stuffed vehicle, you don't have to leave the four-legged members of your family behind if you plan accordingly.

Whether your animal weighs five pounds or fifty pounds, you can easily bring him along on any road trip if you simply prepare in advance. When deciding which supplies to set aside, always be sure to: assemble enough food and water to last the entire trip; keep bowls and leashes easily accessible for hassle-free stops; pack plenty of towels in case your pet has an accident while on the road; and leave out a few toys and treats to occupy your dog or cat. Since you usually will not have to make any extra stops for a trained pet, simply follow the guideline that whenever you think you need a break to stand-up or go to the bathroom, your pet probably does, too.

At rest stops and gas stations, take an extra few minutes to walk your dog so he can also stretch his legs and relieve himself. Afterwards, always offer him water but only put out food during those times when you typically feed him. You do not want to overfeed your dog since, out of anxiety, he may overeat and become sick in the car, which leads to a stressful situation and even more stops. Keeping your animal on a solid schedule, such as resting every three to four hours and feeding him at the same time each day, is the best way to ensure a content, happy pet during your road trip.

One of the biggest considerations when driving a long distance with your pet is if you should place them in a crate or cage. If you are traveling with a larger animal, it is typically not necessary to bring along a container since the car creates a cage of sorts for them and they usually do not have many options for movement. Owners of smaller animals, however, face a difficult dilemma since their pet can scurry about the car and create an unsafe distraction. Rather than placing them in a crate, which can lead to constant whining and barking, consider an animal car seat. The seat is high enough that they can look out the window and is as comfortable as a bed, but your little friend cannot jump around the vehicle since he is attached by his harness.

Traveling with puppies is a much more difficult situation since they are not trained to hold their bladders and many puppies are not used to traveling in cars, which can lead to carsickness. Unless absolutely necessary, it is not recommended that you travel a long distance with a very young animal since it can be very hard on both you and your pet. Stopping every hour and cleaning up messes inside your vehicle is not ideal for a successful and time-conscious road trip, so use your best judgment based on your pet's history of traveling in your car.

While you get to decide if you want to bring your pet along on the car ride, the accommodations at your destination determine if your efforts have been worthwhile. One excellent option for your stay are pet friendly vacation rentals, which offer all of the amenities and comforts of home without closing their doors to your four-legged friend. Forget about cramped hotel rooms where your nervous and unsettled pet is likely to cause some degree of destruction, leaving you with unexpected expenses, and stay in spacious vacation rental that makes your dog or cat feel just as at home as you do.

Traveling with your pet can make your vacation more relaxing than you even imagined since you never have to worry if your beloved Buster or Fluffy is getting the proper care back home. Rather than fretting over possible hindrances during your travels, simply prepare in advance, take any necessary precautions, and then set out for a truly memorable adventure that the entire family will certainly appreciate.

About the Author

GreatRentals.com has the most comprehensive selection of vacation rental homes on the Internet. For an alternative lodging option, consider pet friendly vacation rentals for your next trip with your four-legged friend.

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