RCMP tips for traveling with your pets – Lacombe Express

With the weather warming up, everyone wants to hit the road for a little trip. Pets, like other family members, accompany the ride. But before letting your pets into the car, special precautions and preparation must be taken.

These tips will help your dog, cat or other pet stay safe and comfortable for the duration of the ride, long or short.

Before leaving

If it’s a long trip, you need to get them used to traveling first. You do this by taking them on a few short trips. It may take them several weeks to get really comfortable and get used to road noises and sudden movements of the vehicle.

Bring the following items with you:

• Contact details of the veterinarian.

• All medical records including current shooting records.

• First aid kit for your pet.

• Cleaning supplies, such as duct tape, to remove fur from your vehicle.

• Plastic bags or litter box for waste disposal.

• Blanket or bed.

• Treats and toys.

• Leash, harness or collar.

• Drinkers, non-slip and anti-tipping food.

• Fresh, cool water in the car.

• Food — this is the most important, and it should be the same brand they are used to so their stomachs are not upset.

You can also consider microchipping your pet, just in case. It’s not mandatory but it will give you peace of mind in case you and your pet become separated. If your pet is found, a veterinarian or shelter staff member can scan the chip to retrieve the owner’s contact information.

On the road

If your pet becomes ill, you must stop immediately. Find a clinic or vet, or ask a local for directions and take them right away.

Watch the temperature. If it’s too hot, always leave your air conditioning on so your pet doesn’t get heatstroke.

Keep your pet on a leash if you plan to leave your vehicle and take it with you. Leaving your pet in the car can be dangerous to their health, and in some states it’s illegal.

Be sure to give your pet regular toilet breaks, both to keep your vehicle clean and for your pet’s sake. While they are away, also allow them extra time to exercise and play to relieve any tension or stress.

Taking your pet with you on an adventure, whether it’s a short or long trip, can be exciting and a great way to bond with them. But you should keep these travel tips in mind before you take off.

– Sergeant. Brian Herrick

Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Central Alberta Traffic Services