Pets can make any trip or vacation truly an adventure to remember. And while traveling with pets won’t always be easy, a little preparation can make it a relatively stress-free experience (and allow you to remember your trip for all the right reasons).
To help prepare you for whatever escapades you embark on with your furry companion in tow, we’ve enlisted Dr. Katy Nelson, Chewy's Senior Vet, to answer all of your questions from Chewy’s Instagram Stories on traveling with your pet this year.
Q: How do you keep your pet safe from a car accident?
Just like you wear your seatbelt, your pet also needs to be secured. Whether they’re in a crate that’s secured in the car or they have a harness that latches onto the seatbelt, make sure they are buckled up so they stay safe, too.
Here are 6 ways to ensure pet safety in your car.
Q: How often should we stop for pee breaks while on a road trip?
Every couple of hours take a break, stretch your legs, and give your dog a chance to hop out and take a bio-break as well. It’ll be good for everybody.
Q: How can you treat car sickness?
Car sickness is miserable and can potentially be pretty messy as well. Talk with your veterinarian about a motion sickness medication that can help your pet’s stomach feel just a little bit better.
Here’s what to do if your dog experiences car sickness.
Q: What can you give to dogs that don’t travel in cars well?
If your pet experiences mild motion sickness or travel anxiety, you can try a supplement like Nauesx to soothe that stomach and make the trip a bit easier for everyone.
Get more tips for surviving a road trip with your dog here.
Q: Do frequent road trips impact a cat’s immune system or give them long-term anxiety?
Stress can certainly have an impact on the immune system, so if your kitty gets severely anxious about traveling, it may be better to look into an alternative plan. Maybe a pet sitter can come stay with your kitty, so you can go out and have a great trip.
Q: Is there anything I can give to my 8-week-old puppy to make him feel comfortable while flying?
For a puppy that young, make sure they’re traveling in the cabin with you in an airline-approved dog carrier. You’ll need a pet health certificate from your veterinarian before you fly with your puppy, so while you’re there, ask if they recommend giving your puppy an anti-anxiety supplement.
Q: If your dog hangs their head out of a window, can that cause an ear infection?
I don’t think there would be any correlation with those ears flapping in the breeze that would cause that ear infection, since it is usually water that causes ear infections in dogs. So, if you were in the pool with your dog or they got wet somehow, that may be the culprit.
Q: Is it bad for your dog’s eyes to let them hang their heads out of the window?
Dogs love hanging their heads out of windows. But that wind can be a little bit drying, and there could be projectiles or dust that get into their eye from that wind. In this case, you can use dog goggles. Not only are they adorable, but they can keep your dog’s eyes protected from the wind.
Q: What is the best way to travel long distances with cats who aren’t leash trained? What kind of cat carrier is recommended?
If you’re traveling by air, your kitty is going to need an airline-approved carrier. If you’re traveling by car, place a call to your vet to ask them about some motion sickness medications that may help to keep them comfortable. I like a huge carrier when I’m traveling with cats, so they have a separate place to crawl up and take a nap and have a second place for their litter box.
Try these tips for traveling with your cat by plane, train and automobile.
Q: I’m planning a hike during our camping trip this weekend. How far can our 9-month-old Mini Schnauzer hike safely?
How far your pup can make it on a hike is going to depend on the temperature and the humidity. Make sure you have plenty of ways to keep your dog hydrated. And you might want to check out a dog carrier backpack in case they get tired, so you can help them along the rest of the way.
Ready to hit the hiking trail with your dog? Here’s everything you need to know.
Q: I have a Black Labrador and Boxer mix. Where is the safest place in the car for larger dogs?
The safest place in a car for any size dog is in a secured crate. Not only does that prevent them from becoming a distraction to you while you’re trying to drive, but also in case the worst happens, they won’t go flying about the car harming themselves or you.
If you find this Q&A helpful, follow us on Instagram and stay tuned for the next Chewy Health Hour with Dr. Katy Nelson in the next coming weeks.
This transcript has been edited for length and clarity.