Pet Travel: Safe, and Comfortable

This holiday season, thousands of Virginians will take to the roads to spend time with family and friends. Many will even pack up their dogs and cats to take with them. Will you?


Here are a few tips to help make sure Fluffy and Fido have a safe and comfy trip, while at the same time ensuring they do not become a distraction. Driving safety is paramount:

  1. Use a carrier to keep pets safe. The carrier should be well-ventilated and large enough for your pet to stand, sit, lie down, and turn around in. If your pet isn’t used to being a carrier, practice at home before your trip.
  2. Always secure your pet’s carrier so it won’t slide or shift while you’re driving—for their safety and yours.
  3. If you’re going on a long car trip, try a few short drives first to see how your pet reacts.
  4. Never leave your pet unattended in your vehicle—in the heat or in the cold.
  5. Bring your own water for your pet, to prevent tummy troubles.
  6. Make sure your pet has identification that includes a current phone number for you—one you’ll have access to while traveling.

If you’re traveling across state lines, pack your pet’s rabies vaccination record—just in case you need it. And, whenever you’re traveling with pets, take along a current photo (click one with your smartphone before leaving if you don’t already have one). If your pet becomes separated from you, you’ll need to have a photo to help locate him.

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