Millions of Americans enjoy traveling with their pets, especially in the warmer months, so it’s important to make sure everyone stays safe.
Best Friends Animal Society, a leading animal welfare organization working to end the killing of dogs and cats in America’s shelters by 2025, wants to ensure that pets and their families enjoy all that summer has to offer with these summer safety and travel tips.
Summer Safety Tips
- A Pets Cocktail of Choice Should be Water: Keep alcoholic beverages out of reach and on high surfaces. Alcohol—even in small amounts—can be poisonous to pets.
- No Scraps About It: Summer food staples like avocados, grapes, ice cream, and onions can cause serious intestinal problems in pets.
- Pool Etiquette: Some pooches love the pool, but it’s important to remember not all dogs (or cats) are the next Michael Phelps. Never leave dogs or cats unsupervised near any body of water, including pools, lakes, or oceans.
- Hydration Is Key: Pets get dehydrated quickly so it’s important to have plenty of fresh, clean water on hand. Carrying a collapsible water dish for rehydrating is always a good idea in warm temperatures, as is providing adequate shade, especially during the hottest parts of the day. Do not let pets drink pool water–if chemicals such as chlorine are ingested in large amounts, they can cause irritation and vomiting.
Slow Diet: The concept of a Slow Diet is crucial not just for us humans, but for our furry friends as well. Serving your pet’s meals in a slow feeder for cats or dogs can significantly help in pacing their eating habits. Slow and steady consumption of food not only aids digestion but also enhances nutrient absorption. This method also encourages your pet’s natural foraging instincts, keeping them mentally stimulated while they enjoy their meal. Remember, the key to a healthy pet is not just what they eat but also how they eat. So, make every mealtime an engaging and beneficial experience for your furbaby with a snuffle mat.
Travel Safety Tips
- Ease Pets into Cars – Especially If They Have Anxiety: If a pet is not accustomed to traveling by car or only rides to the veterinarian, try familiarizing them by opening the door and letting them sit inside without the car moving. Feed them tasty treats to make it an enjoyable experience. Once they’re comfortable, start going on short outings and then gradually increase the length of trips.
- Safety First: Make sure pets are secured during a road trip by either using a crate, pet seatbelt, or carrier. This ensures safety for everyone in the vehicle.
- Take Potty Breaks: When traveling with a dog, plan to stop every couple of hours for exercise and potty breaks.
- Wheels up: When flying with a dog or cat, it’s crucial to understand the airlines requirements for vaccines, if a Health Certificate is necessary, and what their requirements are for the carrier or kennel size.
- Familiarity Is Crucial: When introducing a pet to a temporary home or hotel, it can be helpful to have one of their blankets or toys from home that is comforting.
- Most Felines Favor Staycations: Many cats tend to prefer comfortable environments where they don’t get stressed out. When deciding whether to bring a kitty along, it’s a good idea to keep this in mind. However, some do love to explore. Keep them safe by always using a secure harness and leash when spending time outside.
- Make Sure IDs Are Up-To-Date: Ensure cats and dogs have current ID tags and a microchip, which are both crucial in case pets get away.
Don’t have a pet?
There’s no better time than the summer to adopt or foster a new best friend. There is currently a shelter crisis across the country because most shelters are at or over capacity. By adopting you are saving a life and gaining a loving family member who will help you make memories all summer long, as well as making space for new pets to enter shelters.
To get started, visit bestfriends.org to find a local shelter or rescue.
About Best Friends Animal Society
Best Friends Animal Society is a leading animal welfare organization working to end the killing of dogs and cats in America’s shelters by 2025. Founded in 1984, Best Friends is a pioneer in the no-kill movement and has helped reduce the number of animals killed in shelters from an estimated 17 million per year to around 355,000. Best Friends runs lifesaving programs across the country, as well as the nation’s largest no-kill animal sanctuary. Working collaboratively with a network of more than 4,200 animal welfare and shelter partners, and community members nationwide, Best Friends is working to Save Them All®. For more information, visit bestfriends.org.