Local Pet Travel: Down the Road

While local pet travel should be the most easily catered for category, the reality of travelling with a pet is that it really depends on how your pet likes travelling. Some absolutely love a zip across town to pick up the kids while for others a quick trip to the vet turns the car into a battle zone!

So rule number one is: Know your pet's preferences and know how they will react. Now obviously this knowledge can only be gained one way - through experience. But you can make this a good experience or a bad experience for the animal and a bit of patience and thoughtfulness on your part can turn a nervous traveller into a confident travelling companion or a complete disaster into at least being able to get to the vet without having to call out the riot police!

Secondly, local pet travel is usually undertaken without any thought being given to the fact that any pet running around loose in a car can become a lethal missile in the event of an accident. Many dogs (and some cats I have known) absolutely love sticking their heads out the window as you drive but the reality is that if you wouldn't allow a child to travel unrestrained, even down to the local shop, why should it be different for a much loved pet.

Another aspect of this:I have treated many dogs which, after years of riding on the back of an open truck without incident suddenly leapt off the back to give chase after something interesting on the side of the road. As humans, we cannot predict when these sudden changes in behaviour will take place, and any animal that hits the road at normal commuting speed is normally a very sorry sight.

Thirdly, a quick trip down to a shopping mall should never involve leaving the pet alone in the vehicle while you go shopping. Not only can they become stressed out at being abandoned, but both hyperthermia and hypothermia are life threatening conditions that can develop quite quickly in pets left inside motor vehicles if the outside temperature is very hot or very cold.

Local pet travel is the trip undertaken with the least amount of thought but it is probably the category that results in the most traumatic incidents. A little bit of thought on your side could go a long way to avoiding tragedy.