At some point in time you will need to transport your pet, even if it’s once a year for their annual checkup. Here are some tips to minimise stress and keep you all safe on the move.
You can transport your dog in two ways for maximum safety.
Buy a boot guard. They are available for most car makes and will ensure you dog stays safely in the boot of your car.
If you don’t have a hatch back you can buy a dog seat belt. These clip into the seat belt mechanism to belt your dog firmly in position.
If your dog is an unhappy traveler, let him have a treat before and after the journey. Old dogs may need help getting into the boot. If you can’t lift your pooch you can buy fold-able ramp to help him up and down.
Cats should always be transported in a cat carrier. You may find it easier to get Tiddles in with a top loader rather than a side door. Many varieties are available including plastic washable ones, wicker and material. Ensure the hinges and connecting parts are secure and always carry it with one hand underneath. Cover your cats basket in the vet waiting room and don’t allow other peoples dogs to sniff the cage.
Rabbits, ferrets and guinea pigs can be moved in a car carrier, but you will need something smaller for a hamster or gerbil. Purpose made transporters are available. Always ensure small heads cannot get through the wire or plastic housing as it will cause damage.
Fish are best moved in fish bags – placed in a cardboard box in the foot-well of your car. Always ensure there are no sharp objects and it’s best to take a spare bag filled with water just in case.
Birds can be transported in their own cage with movable objects taken out such as swinging mirrors or toys. If the cage is too big there are small bird transportation cages available.
Don’t allow children to open the pet cage no matter how much the pet cries. They are not safe in a moving car and if opened outside they will run and hide, meaning your pet may get lost.
All pet carriers should be kept in place with a car seat belt, not left to roll around on the back seat or crash into the driver if you need to break heavily.
Keep pets out of direct sunlight.
The same goes for cold temperatures. Birds and fish are particularly sensitive to temperature.
When travelling with pets make sure to keep the windows closed.
It can be traumatic (for you too!) to transport your pet. So put a small blanket or piece of your clothing in with your pet to soothe its nerves. Very nervous cat and dogs may benefit from scent diffusers that mimic pheromones given off by parents to their babies.