Summer time is vacation time. Whether traveling across country or just a couple hours to a camp ground or lake, here are some hints for traveling with your dog or cat.
Many dogs make great travelers but there are always potential obstacles. Car travel can lead to car sickness in many dogs. For some dogs, this is less when they travel in their crate with a towel or blanket over the openings so they don't see the movement. Never fully feed or let your dog fill up with water right before the trip. You are best to start trip day with no breakfast or only a light breakfast more than an hour before leaving. Simple over the counter products like antihistamines can be used to lessen vomiting. For the seriously ill, talk to your veterinarian about Cerenia to stop the car sickness. Make sure you have a leash and poop bags for bathroom breaks and a clean up kit of premoistened wipes to clean up mud, drool or other messy leavings. Keep a small bowl available for water during bathroom breaks.
Some dogs become seriously fearful during travel. For these anxious pets, talk to your veterinarian for advice on sedating medications like Acepromazine or anxiety relieving medicines like alprazolam. Some training progams can also be put into place to lessen trip anxiety for these travelers.
Most cats hate car travel, mostly because they don't get to drive! They take up "100 Bottles of Beer on the Wall" and insist on singing all the way to your destination. Again, they feel most secure in a crate, often with a towel or sheet over the top so they feel hidden. Make sure they don't overheat under there! Again, reducing food intake prior to the trip reduces vomiting. Line the crate with newpaper, so if an inadvertant bathroom break occurs, you can reach in and roll up the top layer and remove, while leaving the cat inside the carrier. Papertowels, handiwipes and even a small garbage bag help with clean up. Long trips of over 8 hours deserve a water break and litter box stop for your feline passenger. This means you have to be prepared with litter box, litter and a way to get your cat in and out of the crate without opening your car doors to prevent roadside escape.
While there are no antimotion sickness drugs for cats, some owners choose to use antianxiety drugs during travel like alprazolam or diazepram.
For dogs: Benedryl (diphenhydramine) 1mg per pound body weight, ie. 50lb dog gets 50mg benedryl every 8 hours
Dramamine (dimenhydrinate) 4-8mg/kg every 8 hours
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