For small pets, put them back in their carriers before ever opening the car door—even if you’re just stopping for gas. Even if it seems like your pet is napping, you don’t know what the sound of an opening door will do—an opportunistic cat can go from “lounging” to “escaped” in seconds. The last thing you want is to lose your pet somewhere in the middle of your journey, where they won’t be able to find their way home.
- It can be dehydrating in the car, so having some water accessible for your pets is a good idea. That said, some pets will not be interested in doing much other than hiding while the car is in motion, so you may need to encourage them to drink at rest stops.
- Take it easy on the music—your pet’s ears are much more sensitive than yours. Keep that volume low!
Tip: While some music can be bothersome to animals, the sound of a person’s voice often has a calming effect. Try a podcast—not only are they good entertainment, but that gentle voice might just soothe your meowing or yapping beast.
- What about stopping for the night? While some hotels have pet-free policies, many will actually allow pets for a rather low additional cleaning fee (often around $15–$30 for the night). However, you don’t want to be driving around looking for a place to stay with a hungry, stressed-out pet in the back—so it’s imperative that you take the time to locate the pet-friendly options on your route and book your rooms in advance.