Who doesn’t like traveling with dogs, when going on a vacation? They make your trip more fun and memorable as they tend to become your family member. However, you must plan the journey beforehand to make it safe for you and your pet.
Especially when traveling with service animals and emotional support animals. As traveling with your pet on the roads can be a bit complicated and is sometimes very stressful --- which almost defeats the whole purpose of having an ESA in the first place!
With that in mind, here are some practical tips that will keep both you and your Emotional Support Animal safe, calm, and stress-free.
Did you decide to travel with your pet? Traveling by car can be challenging with dogs who cannot sit still even for a minute. Here's how you can ensure a smoother journey with your pet:
It's not just a convenient place for you to carry groceries or for you to store last week's gym clothes. The fact is that any pet is safer in the rear seat of your vehicle.
That's where your dog is less likely to be injured by sudden stops or evasive maneuvers you may be forced to make.
And, in the worst-case scenario of a fender-bender or crash that deploys your car's airbags, your dog won't be injured by the instantaneous and violent impact.
The less your pet moves around (jumping back and forth from the front seat to the back seat is a serious no-no) inside your vehicle, the safer for all concerned.
If you're driving into unfamiliar territory, you need to have a contingency plan in case your Emotional Support Animal or pet dog becomes suddenly ill or injured.
You should know where the nearest veterinary or emergency pet clinic is on your route. When your ESA dog is vomiting blood in the backseat, that is not the time to figure out what to do or where to go next.
If you stop in unfamiliar territory so Fido can relieve himself --- what if he gets bitten by a snake in those bushes? Emergencies happen and you must know where to go for help.
Not only is it extremely distracting and dangerous for you to allow your pet to sit in your lap when you're behind the wheel, it's illegal in all jurisdictions.
There are enough distractions with your pet inside the vehicle without trying to control your direction of travel with your arms around a fluffy, unpredictably over-reactive animal between you and the steering wheel.
In the center of most of today's steering wheels, there is a powerful, explosive force just waiting to blast right in your face - your airbag.
Imagine what would happen to your pet if it suddenly deployed while he's sitting in your lap. A serious injury would be the least of it because airbags can deliver deadly force in an instant.
A wide range of safety gear is now available for the protection of pets traveling in vehicles. A crate or a pet carrier is a safe way to travel with dogs and cats as it keeps them from roaming around in the car. These carriers are also a requirement of some airlines when traveling with dogs on planes.
When purchasing a pet carrier, make sure that it has the following features:
Another pet-friendly gear is a seat belt. These pet seat belts come in a variety of mechanisms and styles, depending on the size and species of the Emotional Support Animal to be restrained.
These devices are quite effective at allowing your pet a modicum of movement while keeping them in place where they belong. The first time you use one on your pet, make it a short trip for about 30 minutes.
Extend the length of trips with the device until your pet understands that this is the new normal, and both you and your Emotional Support Animal will be happier and safe.
Don't expect your pet to have the bladder strength of an adult human. Traveling with your ESA is akin to traveling with young children in the car.
Frequent rest stops, bathroom breaks, leg-stretches, and plenty of snacks along the way make any journey more tolerable for all concerned.
That means you should always have pet bowl, leashes, bedding, poop bags/scoopers, water, food, and treats along for those longer rides.
And be sure to have collars with ID tags/licenses and dog vests on each of your traveling pets. More than one dog has been known to suddenly take off to explore a new neighborhood, leaving its owner standing there with a broken leash.
On longer trips, you may stop to enjoy the tourist sights, dine at a restaurant, or go shopping. At those times, leaving your pet unattended in your vehicle is not an option.
Even on a mild, 72 Degrees Fahrenheit day, the temperature inside your car can climb by thirty deadly degrees in mere minutes. So, don't forget to take your pet along when you make a stop.
Another often-overlooked reason for never leaving your pet unattended in your vehicle. They have a curious habit of finding the door lock buttons and locking their owners out of the car!
Those power window switches in the back seat? Lots of fun to play with, particularly if your pet's paws are small enough to activate them and lower the window.
Use the door lock mechanism, or you might find your pal jumping out the rear window at the slightest temptation. While you're rolling down the highway, avoid the temptation to allow your pet to hang its head out of the car window.
Yes, Fido might like the sensation of the wind flapping his ears, but there are insects and random pebbles flying around during high-speed travel that can seriously injure your pet. And any sudden stop could be deadly to animals who have their heads out the window.
Going on road trips with pets can be fun and emotionally fulfilling. Just make your next ride is a safe one for all concerned, and be sure you're traveling with a legitimate, legally-enforceable ESA Letter.
If you need a legitimate emotional support animal letter, contact RealESALetter and the licensed mental health professionals will write an ESA letter so your pet can accompany you everywhere you go.
Are you booking a flight for you and your four-legged pal? Wondering if you can bring dogs on planes?
Yes, you definitely can though there are certain rules and regulations that airlines in the United States have when flying with dogs, ESAs, or service dogs.
Make sure that you are well-prepared and have everything ready to ensure a smooth ride with your buddy.
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