As pet lovers, we want to take our animals with us wherever we can.
And though it’s not always possible, with some planning, we can take them on vacation with us.
Because air travel can be stressful (and sometimes dangerous) for pets, Orange County-based certified professional dog trainer Kate Connell doesn’t recommend flying your pet to a vacation spot if it can be avoided. However, with the right tools and training, a road trip with your pet is not only feasible, but can also be a lot of fun.
Here are some tools and tips for the ride out:
Secure your pet: Dogs should be crated or secured with a harness designed for travel and attached to a short tether that doesn’t allow for walking, Connell says. Cats must be in a crate large enough to fit a litter box and bed with some space between. Crates should be tethered tightly to prevent sliding and flipping over during a crash. Intermediate Dog Kennel, $185 at rufftoughkennels.com; Kurgo Impact Dog Car Harness, $75 at kurgo.com
Acclimate: You’ll need to get your dog or cat to associate good things with his harness or crate long before your trip. “You can put on the harness before a game of fetch, a fun training session or a walk to the park,” Connell says. “For the crate, you can strap the door open and feed your pet inside. You can also put your pet’s favorite bedding inside and turn the crate into a giant toy box, so that your pet has to go inside to get his toys.” Once your pet is comfortable going inside, start giving him a Kong toy stuffed with a delicious treat and close him inside for a few minutes. Let him out and remove the Kong before he finishes the treat. This can be repeated over the next few days. Make sure to reserve the Kong treat or other high-value treat only for time spent in the crate. After a few days, you can hang out with your pet in the car while he’s crated with his treat for five to 10 minutes a day. After a week or so, if he’s comfortable, try driving around the…