It's the start of summer which means the holiday season should be starting - however, the pandemic has meant that the only trips we'll be taking right now is within our own county. This doesn't mean we can't make the most of it! A staycation is a great way of exploring Ireland and seeing the beauty of your own country. But what do you do with your beloved pets while you travel? One option is to bring them with you. Here, we share our tips for travelling with pets - near and afar.
Dogs must be secured when travelling, it's the law! If they aren't secured whilst travelling they are at risk of distracting the driver or causing excess injury (should an accident occur). The are two main ways to secure your dog whilst travelling: a crate or a seat belt restraint.
- If your dog is a small or medium sized dog, then a crate is ideal for you.
- Your car needs to be spacious - most people using crates use them in hatchback cars, large people carriers, SUV’s, etc.
- You need to secure the crate in the car, in a visible location, so you can monitor your dog while driving.
Seat Belt Restraint
Your dog may be a nervous or hyperactive traveller. This can result in an anxious or agitated drive for both you and your pooch. There are a few ways to reduce this, outlined below:
- Serene-Um Calming Tablets - they are a natural, non sedating tablet that reduce stress and anxiety, without making your dog drowsy.
- Adaptil 'Dap' Collar - this is put on just like any dog collar. It works by releasing a pheromone that replicates the scent a mother dog emits to their puppies during nursing. It gives a sense of security and comfort, reducing anxiety and stress.
- Adaptil 'Dap' Spray - the spray works in the same way as the collar. Simply spray the crate, carrier or the section of the car your dog will be in, 15 minutes before travel.
If travelling over a long distance it is important to keep in mind that your dog may become restless. If they need a break to stretch their legs, find a safe place to pull over and always have your dog on a leash to avoid accidents.
A travel water bottle is ideal for trips with your pooch. It folds up neatly and is easy for your dog to drink from.
Dogs overheat a lot quicker than humans (they only have sweat glands in their paws and rely on panting to help cool them down). For this reason you should never leave your dog alone in a car, even if you leave a window open. If a dog is left in a car it could result in a heat stroke, a heart attack or even death. Read our hot weather safety tips here.
Cats must also be secured whilst travelling. If you fail to do so, you are putting the cat and the passengers in the car at risk. The process for travelling with cats is almost identical to travelling with dogs. One of the major differences is the use of travel carriers.
Cats feel more secure in smaller spaces. Travel carriers are less exposed than a crate, hence they are the preferred method of transportation for cats.
Cats can also experience stress and anxiety whilst travelling. To combat this you can use:
- Feliway spray - cats rub their cheeks against object in the home to mark their territory. This action releases a pheromone that relaxes and reassures them. The Feliway spray replicates this pheromone. Use this spray 15 minutes before putting the cat into the carrier.
- Serene-Um Calming Tablets - can also be used on cats, for a similar result.