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Driving Road Trips With Your Dog Or Cat

Traveling by Car

Q: What can I do to prepare my pet for traveling in a car?

A: If your pet does not ride well in a car, consider leaving your pet at home, with friends or family, or in a boarding facility.

  • If you don't often take your pet in the car, start with short trips to "fun" destinations (such as a dog-friendly park or play area) to help your pet get used to riding in a car.
  • If your pet gets car sick, talk to your veterinarian about alternate traveling suggestions or medications to keep them comfortable.
     

Q: What should I do to keep my pet safe and healthy?

A: To keep your pet safe and healthy:

  • Make frequent stops (about every 2-3 hours) to allow your pet to go to the bathroom and get some exercise.
  • Properly restrain your pet in the car to prevent injury to your pets, you and to other drivers.
  • Do not let your pet ride in the back of a truck. If your pet must ride in the truck bed, they should be confined in a protective kennel that is secured to the truck to prevent injury. 
    » View the AVMA Policy
    » View the AVMA Literature Review
  • Pets should not be allowed to ride with their heads outside the window. Dirt and other debris can enter their eyes, ears and nose and cause injury or infection.
  • Pets should not be allowed to ride on the driver's lap or near the driver's feet. Small pets should be confined in crates or in travel-safe dog beds, and larger pets should be appropriately restrained with harnesses attached to the car's seat belts.
  • Cats should be transported in carriers.
  • Providing a familiar blanket and/or safe toy can help make your pet more comfortable during the trip.
  • Pets in Cars
  • Pets in Vehicles
     

Traveling by Train or Bus

Q: Can my pet travel with me on a train or bus?

A: Most states restrict the travel of pets on trains or buses. Exceptions are made for guide or service dogs. Check with your carrier to find out if your pet can come with you and what rules and regulations apply.


Information Provided by AVMA - American Veterinary Medical Association

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