Monday, January 23, 2017

Pet Travel Tips: A Guest Post from Friends for Animals of Metro Detroit

January is National Pet Travel Safety Month. With the North American International Auto Show having just ended here in Detroit,  cars are on everyone’s minds right now. Consider, though, what it’s like for one member of your family when you’re checking out all the latest auto gadgets: road tripping may be a very different experience for your pet than it is for you. Friends for Animals of Metro Detroit (FAMD) has some pointers for making your dog or cat more comfortable on the road.


Driving with a pet, whether it’s a massive dog or a miniscule kitten, can be a challenge. It’s important to keep the safety and comfort of your pet in mind in the frigid Detroit weather. But with enough planning and some flexibility, says Elaine Greene, executive director of FAMD, road trips can be fun for both of you.

Here are some tips that Greene and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals offer for traveling by car:

·      Safely secure Fluffy: Place your dog or cat in a secure carrier or, at the very least, harnessed in the back seat of the car. Sudden stops and turns can be dangerous to you and your pet if anyone is flying loose. Sometimes pets travel better with a mild sedative, but check with your veterinarian. 

·      Keep records: Make sure everyone is up to date on vaccinations and keep a copy of those records with you, along with microchip codes. Some states may require these. Print out a photo of your pet too: in case someone makes a break for it, this could save valuable time in the search. And make sure your pet is wearing a comfortable but wiggle-free-resistant collar at all times that has your contact information clearly labeled.

·      Stock up: Keep supplies on hand for unexpected delays. Food, fresh water, blankets and of course baggies for accidents. Don’t feed your pet in a moving car. 

·      Practice: Take quick trips in the car to get your pet comfortable with being in the back. The last thing you need is to discover three hours into a 12-hour trek that your pet is carsick or frantically nervous on trips. Check out elevators and open staircases, too, for skittish pets.

·      Scope it out: You’ll want to alert staff at your hotel or Air BnB of your plans, including how long you might be leaving your pet unaccompanied. Check out the accommodations with your pet, and give them some time to feel comfortable in the room before you take off for the show.

·      Have fun: More and more restaurants, bars and hotels welcome pets these days. Yes, it’s January. But you and your pet might both appreciate the exercise after time spent in the car.

For more information about the Friends for Animals of Metro Detroit, visit www.metrodetroitanimals.org.

About FAMD
After 22 years of nurturing more than 47,300 animals, the Friends for Animals of Metro Detroit have embarked on the “Raise the Woof” public phase of their “Building a Home with Heart” capital campaign to construct a new Animal Adoption & Education Center at the site of the former Dearborn Amtrak station on Michigan Avenue. Construction begins this Summer.  FAMD is located at 2661 Greenfield Road, Dearborn.

27 comments:

  1. These are great tips! It can be hard to juggle on a longer trip ... especially with cats in the summer. It helps to have two people so one can always stay in the air conditioned car with the cat (those stops where each person goes in individually is also a great time to let kitty out to use the litter box, eat a bit and grab a drink). Then again, it depends upon the cat ... Kitty was just fine with that plan. But Bear howled for hours (not kidding ... my ex-husband gave up at the 4 hour mark) until I let him out of the carrier. I'm not proud of that ... it was incredibly dangerous for him ... but we were at wit's end and once out, Bear curled up on my lap and fell asleep for the rest of the trip :)

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  2. This is all such good, practical advice!

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  3. My youngest son just traveled with his cat on a plane from Upstate New York to Florida where he will now be living. I prepared him with as much travel information as possible so he'd be prepared and know what to expect. Animals react off our tension, so I think it helped him to be much more confident about the situation...and thankfully, she did just great! Purrs from Deb and the Zee/Zoey gang

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    1. Yay!!!! that the kitty did well and that your son will be living closer!

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  4. As someone who has traveled with my cats several times (particularly the adventure cats, Sophie & Kylo), I think these tips are awesome! Very helpful. I didn't realize this month was Pet Travel Safety Month! Good to know. Thanks for sharing the tips!

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    1. I know you have traveled with your kitties so I really appreciate your comment! Thanks! I believe Pet Travel Safety "Day" was January 2nd....I am assuming our guests know what they are talking about lol, but you never know! You are most welcome and thanks!

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  5. Mom puts us in a crate when we are in the car.
    Snorts,
    Lily & Edward

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  6. Great tips! I'm glad I only have to deal with going to the Vet.

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  7. Our Little Bit loved road trips. As long as she was with us she was a happy camper. Great advice.

    Have a purrfect day Cody. My best to your smart mom. ♥♥♥

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  8. Great tips!

    Purrs xx
    Athena and Marie

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  9. The Hubby likes to let the cats out of their crates when he drives, but I warn him that it's too dangerous, so either he's stopped or he doesn't tell me anymore. However, I am the one driving them to the vet 99% of the time, and they sing the song of their people, and I sing right along with them! Hahaha!

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  10. Mom has never taken me on a trip. For some reason she seems to think I wouldn't like it even though she has not asked me yet.

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    1. Cody has never been on a trip either. I have to say though, our Vet is about 15 minutes away and he NEVER "sings the songs of his people", he just hunkers down in the back of his carrier and hides his face, wishing it would all go away lol

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  11. Our mom wishes she trained us to ride a car so we don't go into ear-splitting rendition of God Bless America each time she drives us 10 minutes to the vet.

    Emma and Buster

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  12. Good advice. It drives me crazy seeing people drive with dogs sticking their head out the window.

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  13. Good tips. We worry about woofies who ride with their heads out and, even worse, tied in the back of pickup trucks.

    The Florida Furkids

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  14. These are great tips, though we don't travel much.

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  15. These are all very good car traveling tips. My guess is that most cat owners only travel with their cats when they have to like doing a move. I know there are exceptions however. I've only traveled with my cats by air and those were all for moves.

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  16. Great tips. I only take my cats to the vets and they hate that half hour ride so I won't ever make them travel.

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  17. Awesome tips. We've never had to take a long trip with our cats, but this is good stuff to know!

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  19. Hi Care, as you know Nellie, Kozmo, Jo Jo and all of the various hairy slobbery sisters are well seasoned travelers.
    We have a couple of tips to add.
    First make sure all the pets are wearing a collar with some sort of identification on it all the time. Most vets have rabies tags with a QR code as well as their address and phone number on it. Not all vets have chip scanners, especially in small communities. If you take your pet across the border, the chips in Canada are different than those in the US--so the scanners are too. Your pet may be chipped, but the chip is unreadable.
    Even pets that travel a lot can occasional get car sick or mild diarrhea. For dogs, the best thing to start with is a 24-hour rice-water fast. If they still have it, then a vet visit should be added to your itinerary.
    Thanks for letting me share, having lived in a border town in a tourist area, it is heart breaking to see lost pets at the shelters as well as people who can't find their pet. \
    Barb (Nellie's Mommy)

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    1. Thank you soooo much for sharing these most pawesome tips Nellie! I never knew about the chips in Canada being different than those in the US, WOW!!!!! xoxo

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  20. Great tips!

    Nellie, wow, I did not know that Canada had different chips and scanners than ours. All the time I thought MJF was fine and his doggy cousin coming here...of course us pups always have three tags on our collars...vet info/rabies; license; owner info.

    Us kitties here don't care to travel...it is always quite the choir session. Angel Toki did not mind it too much, and we would get in the car in a soft travel carrier to visit the boys' classrooms. He basked in all the attention! That kitty would have made a good therapy kitty:)

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  21. Some great advice, thank you! I wish our Eddie was the type of dog we could take to restaurants, since many are dog friendly around us. But he doesn't settle, even in his old age!

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  22. Great tips Caren!

    We started travelling long distance with our kitty last year (went for a couple of camping trips) and back. Hopefully more to come!

    Thanks
    Vicky

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