If you're planning a summer road trip with your furry friend you might be surprised at how much prepping you'll need to ensure comfort and safety. Consumer Reports has some helpful tips to make sure traveling with your pet goes off without a hitch.
Mabel, 1, and her family have been preparing for a 6-hour road trip to Vermont.
"We started doing small trips around town, going to our neighbors' home in the car, that sort of thing," said Lauren Fidge, Mabel's mother.
And that's not all. Just ask trainer Holly Santana.
"You should have consistency. So you want the same food. You want the same schedule. And so if they eat at 6 a.m. and 6 p.m., keep it 6 a.m. and 6 p.m." Santana said.
And she says bring a towel or bed with the scent from home, keep the car cool, and take breaks every three hours at least. Also useful are cleaning supplies, doggie bags, leash, collar and ID tags with your dog's name and your contacts. And don't forget about safety.
"Pets can act as projectiles if they are not secured," said Consumer Reports Auto Expert Jen Stockburger.
Securing them is a must. The Center for Pet Safety with Subaru conducted crash tests on dummy dogs.
They found among the most secure restraints, the Sleepypod Air carrier for about $160. The Gunner Kennels G1 Intermediate crate for $500. And the Sleepypod Clickit Sport harness between $65 and $75.
And they recommend dogs up to 90 lbs. should be secured in the rear seat opposite the driver's side. In larger cars, in the rear seat or in a crate in its cargo area. For three row vehicles with captain's chairs, dogs up to 20 lbs. should be secured in the second row, larger dogs in the third row. And if traveling with children, secure the child in the second row and the dog behind on the opposite side.
"Family trips to Vermont are very important to us. I want to make sure that everyone in the car is safe," Fidge said.
One more really important thing to remember: vaccination records. Holly the trainer said these can be useful to carry with you if your dog gets sick and you need to visit a local vet. Also, dog-friendly hotels have been known to ask for them as well.
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Consumer Reports: Pet travel safety tips