It is no longer a forgone conclusion that people will leave their pets at home or in a kennel when they hit the road for vacation. Pet owners are increasingly traveling with their pets. In fact, many tourist-bound destinations and businesses—such as hotels and even restaurants—are opening their doors to pets. But while this is good news for many pet owners and their companion animals, travelers need to be aware of the precautions they should take to keep pets safe this summer.
Retailers may want to take this opportunity to help raise pet owners' awareness of some important safety measures, as well as give sales a little second-quarter boost by stocking products designed to help keep pets cool and safe in the summer.
Recently, Lucy Postins, founder of The Honest Kitchen whole food pet line, offered five of her top tips and precautions for pet-owners who are traveling with their pets this summer:
1. Tag Them. Be sure your pets wear their identity tags with them at all times. If your home phone number is printed on the tag, consider taping over it with your cell phone number so you can be reached while you are traveling. Being in a strange place can make pets anxious and more likely to bolt—and less likely to find their way back to you.
2. Prep Before the Trip. Before you leave, make sure your pets get in some exercise and a chance to relieve themselves. If you can, bring lots of fresh, clean drinking water and a water bowl, and stop for frequent potty breaks to avoid the risk of bladder infections.
3. Buckle Up. The excitement of new sights and sounds during travel can make pets excited and want to jump around in the car. A secure carrier or pet seatbelt makes the trip more enjoyable for everyone.
4. Work Up A Sweat. Exercise not only prevents you from packing on the pounds, it’s also a great way to tucker your pets out and help them feel calm in strange surroundings or routines. Dogs tend to unwind in outdoor settings, while cats are better suited for indoor activities.
5. Keep Them Occupied. For long travels or periods of time when your pets must be confined, keep them out of trouble with treats that can keep them occupied. Flexible canvas travel crates are also an excellent investment if you travel frequently or only need the crate on occasion because they stow away easily under a bed, as long as your pet is not a destructive chewer.
The Honest Kitchen makes a couple of products pet owners may want to keep handy for travel or during those steamy summer days. Ice Pups, a grain-free treat for both dogs and cats, help hydrate pets during the summer months. They can be chilled as a refreshing beverage, or frozen in in ice cube trays to make a healthy, puppy-sorbet.
For road trips and long journeys, Postin recommends Beams, a natural dehydrated fish dog treat, made from pure, wild-caught Atlantic Catfish skins. They provide a good source of lean protein for the road.