Safety Tips for Traveling With Cats and Dogs

Many animal lovers enjoy taking their pets along for the ride, whether it’s a road trip, camping trip or a family vacation. There are a few things you should do to ensure your cat or dog remains safe on your trip!

One of the biggest dangers of traveling with an animal: your pet may get lost in an unfamiliar area. Therefore, it’s important to take a few precautions.

Get your pet microchipped before you travel and include your cell phone number as one of the contacts that’s entered into the microchip database. This way, if your pet is found, you can be reached on your cell phone — there’s little use of calling your home phone if you’re miles away in another state!

Make a new pet tag for your cat or dog’s collar. A home phone number and address for an out-of-state residence is basically useless! So make a new tag that includes the word “Traveling” or “On Vacation,” along with your cell phone number and the address where you’ll be staying. If you have friends or family who live in the area, you may opt to put down their address.

Alternatively, you can get a small waterproof metal keychain vial and affix it to the pet’s collar. Write down your contact information, the fact that you’re traveling, and the address of where you’re staying. Roll up the piece of paper and place it inside the vial. This is easier for frequent travelers or travelers who are stopping at multiple locations, as you can change the information as needed!

In addition, you’ll need to ensure your pet remains safe while traveling in the car. Pets can be severely injured or killed if you’re involved in an accident. So don’t take the risk! Use a doggy seatbelt for dogs.

For road trips, cats tend to be more comfortable in a large kennel, as you can include a pet bed and a litter box. But you will need to secure the kennel so it doesn’t go flying in the event of an impact. You can place the kennel on a rear seat and strap a seatbelt around it. Alternatively, if the seatbelt isn’t long enough, you can secure the seatbelt behind the kennel and use tie-down straps to affix it to the seatbelt and/or the seat.

Also, be sure to keep a pet first aid kit on-hand. Just as you want to have a first aid kit on-hand for humans, you’ll also need one for your furry family member!

It’s also important to get the address and phone number for the nearest 24-hour veterinary clinic. If your pet gets extremely sick or seriously injured, you don’t want to be left wondering where you can go for help!

Check in later this week for additional tips for traveling with pets on airplanes, camping and more! In the interim, stop by our archives to read additional Pet Care Articles, including an article on the use of sedatives in pets while traveling.

Photo Source: Danijel Juricev on

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Mia Carter is a professional journalist and animal lover. Her furry family members include 6 dogs and 12 cats. She is also a feral cat colony caretaker. Carter specializes in pet training and special needs pet care. All of her animals have special needs such as paralysis, blindness, deafness and FIV, just to name a few. She also serves as a pet foster parent and she actively rehabilitates and rescues local strays and feral kittens.

2 Responses

  1. Brenda W. Scott
    | Reply

    Very informative! Now i know all the precautions and consideration before I bring my pet together with me on a road trip. Thanks for sharing..

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