Travelling with pets this summer
Use these expert tips from MSA to keep your four-legged friend happy and safe on your next touring holiday.
1. Chip it real good
If your dog is microchipped and registered in one state but is lost in a different state, their microchip details may not be automatically available for a vet to look up. Currently, there are eight microchip databases in Australia. If you’re not sure where your pet is registered, you can check here: http://www.petaddress.com.au/ . If you don’t know your pet’s microchip number, you can contact your local vet, local council or animal welfare shelter, who can scan your pet and supply you with their microchip number.
2. Tag, you’re it
Always have an ID tag of some sort on your pet. Microchipping is great, but depending on where you are travelling, it can take days for someone to get to a vet within opening hours to scan your pet. A tag on your pet’s collar with your up-to-date phone number is a more immediate way of being reunited with your beloved pet.
3. Keep it legal
RSPCA figures show that around 5000 dogs are injured or killed in Australia every year after falling from a moving vehicle. Restraining your dog will help keep them and your family safe in your vehicle.
Demerit points and fines vary across Australian states and territories, so a quick check of the laws that apply to transporting dogs by can help save you from an unwelcome fine!
4. Check-in for a check-up
It’s always advisable to have your pet fully vaccinated before leaving on your holiday, as there is always a risk that they come across unvaccinated animals on their travels. Also, it’s helpful to keep records of your pet’s vaccinations and treatments as some accommodation providers will request it. Additionally, a vet check-up prior to departure will give you peace of mind and the chance to quiz your vet about any lingering questions. Make a list of vets located on the way to and at your destination in case of an emergency.
5. Get your pet on Facebook
Joining relevant groups and communities can become invaluable sources of information and support both prior to and during your travels. “Australian Caravanning / Camping Travelling with Dogs” is one such Facebook Group where members offer their experiences as well as recommendations for pet sitters, pet-friendly accommodation providers and more for the areas you are thinking of visiting!
6. Avoid in-cab accidents
Allow for plenty of toilet breaks during your road trip to avoid any accidents inside the vehicle. Keeping your pet on a lead in new environments will help keep them safe if they become frightened or panicked at any unfamiliar sights or sounds.
7. Steer clear of sickness
If your pet isn’t used to road trips, avoid feeding them in the hour or two before you set off to help keep motion sickness at bay. You can also protect your car seats from accidents with MSA 4X4’s Premium Canvas Seat Covers!
8. Keep creature comforts
Familiarity and routine are important to your dog, therefore taking their bed, favourite toys, usual food and water bowls, as well as usual dog food and favourite treats will help provide familiarity in new surroundings.
Other items include leashes and harnesses, poop bags, crates / barriers or temporary fencing options, a towel to dry them off after swimming or baths, something to provide shade and a dog-friendly first-aid kit. Always keep a supply of bottles of fresh water, in case you don’t have access to a tap.
9. Say no to hot dogs
Too many dogs are still left to die painfully every year from being left in a hot car. They can die very quickly from heat stress. Do not leave your animals or children in the car – especially not in summer.
10. Destination unknown
When you arrive at your destination, help alleviate any anxiety for your pet by allowing them to familiarise with their new surrounds. Keep dogs on a lead to help ensure the safety and general well-being of other families, pets and wildlife, but also for their own safety, as someone else’s dog can still be a threat to yours – even if you’re confident that your dog will respond to training cues like “come” and “stay”.
How MSA can help
MSA stocks a number of products that make travelling with a pet easier. Light, bulky items such as dog beds, blankets, swags etc can be packed easily in MSA 4X4’s Half Pack Rooftop Bag. Manufactured from 15oz canvas, our Half Pack is the perfect size (50cm W x 140cm L x 30cm H) to fit on your roof rack! Meanwhile, wet or dirty items can be securely stored outside of the vehicle in MSA 4X4’s 55-litre Rear Wheel Bag, which is perfect on trips where you don’t want muddy or wet gear inside your vehicle.