Purr..fect Tips For Travelling With Pets
When you are moving house, it is important that you put your right ‘paw’ forward. While you may feel prepared and positive about your journey, when you are travelling with your cuddly companions, they can quickly become very prickly when they are faced with a daunting and sometimes overwhelming venture into the unknown.
Whether you are going on a vacation with your pets or permanently relocating your family including the furry members of your tribe, it is important to be aware of how to best care for your four-legged or feathery friends when you are on-the-hop and beyond.
Most dogs will happily leap inside an open car door and begin exploring the space. Conversely, cats may not be as enthusiastic about being enclosed in a moving metal object for ‘x’ number of hours. Be sure to pack a stash of food, water and bowls. Feeding your pet food they are accustomed to eating is best to avoid car-sickness (Dogs and Car Travel, n.d.). Remember to bring your pet’s ID, leash and collar with you as new places may cause your pet to fright easily. Pack a stash of blankets to keep your pet warm in different environments and old wash clothes or towels to clean off muddy paws after pit stops.
While it may be cute to see your kitten curled at the foot of your bed at night time, it is not so sweet if she is curled under your feet while driving! When travelling with pets, always ensure that they are comfortable and safe. To avoid distractions and to prevent their pet from moving while in transit or in the case of an accident, some owners choose to restrain their pet in an appropriate restraint that either attaches to existing seat belts or has buckles that clip directly into the seat belt (Travelling With Your Pet, n.d.). The laws regarding restraint of dogs in or on vehicles can vary between the states/territories. We recommend that you check with the relevant state government department to check the Animal Welfare laws that apply to transporting dogs in or on vehicles (Travelling With Your Pet, n.d.).
Be Aware of Heat
Never leave your pets unattended in a vehicle. The average heat within a closed vehicle can reach up to 104 degrees in just 30 minutes on a sunny day (How hot can the interior of a car get – and how quickly?, n.d.). Remember to break your journey up into regular pit stops (even if you feel fine to push through). You and your pet will be glad you did, especially if it avoids an in-car mishap down the track. On the road, minimize glare coming in the window by using window shields and utilize air conditioning, if necessary.
AT YOUR DESTINATION
As with children, keeping a routine similar to what your pet is used to is important. For example, your pet will feel more ‘at home’ and sleep better at night if they have their own bed which they are used to. Give your pet the time it needs to scope out its new surroundings and yes, mark its new territory. Some pets, especially cats, are territorial and may find moving a stressful experience. They may become frightened and attempt to escape if they are released and feel unsafe or if there are removalists or unfamiliar people around. To avoid this, choose a room which you can dedicate to your cat for a few days while they settle down. Place their litter tray, food and water bowls and a sleeping bed or basket there. Let your cat outside of the house in short periods and always accompany your cat until you feel they are comfortable in their surroundings.
Establish Ground Rules
Be sure to establish ground rules early. For example, acquaint your pet with the areas you want them to get to know and love as soon as possible after your arrival. Avoid making any new or sudden changes. For example, if your dog or cat has always been an indoors animal prior to the move, now might not be the best time for your pet to go ‘cold turkey’ on indoor winks. Instead, gradually transition your animal into its new surroundings with you and then into the outdoors areas.
Be aware of and minimise any dangers in your new surrounding such as pools, fences, awnings, garden beds or anything that could pose a threat to your pet.
When moving to the Sunshine Coast, you can rest easy knowing your pets will be cared by experienced professionals. From bird doctors to reptile experts, some local favourite vet surgeries are HERE (Top Ten Vets On The Sunshine Coast, n.d.). Finding your local practitioner early after arrival, will avoid any unnecessary stress later on down the track if you need a vet in a hurry.
Best Dog Parks/Beaches
The Sunshine Coast has a number of well-established and frequented dog parks and beaches. You can search for your local dog parks and beaches HERE (Dog Parks and Off Leash Areas, n.d.). What better way to get your dog acquainted to the local area than a stroll along the forefront of the local off-leash dog beaches. Always look for signage and remember fines may apply in unsigned areas.
Dog Parks and Off Leash Areas. (n.d.). Retrieved from sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au: https://www.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au/Living-and-Community/Animals-and-Pets/Dog-Parks-and-Off-Leash-Areas
Dogs and Car Travel. (n.d.). Retrieved from Love That Pet: https://www.lovethatpet.com/dogs/travel/cars/
How hot can the interior of a car get – and how quickly? (n.d.). Retrieved from Heat Kills: http://heatkills.org/how-hot/#How%20hot
Top Ten Vets On The Sunshine Coast. (n.d.). Retrieved from Sunshine Coast Daily: http://www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au/news/Readers-top-ten-Veterinary-Clinics-on-the-Sunshin/2566574/
Travelling With Your Pet. (n.d.). Retrieved from RSPCA: http://kb.rspca.org.au/Do-I-need-to-restrain-my-dog-when-travelling-in-my-car_303.html