Buffalo Companion Animal Clinic

1214 Hwy 25 N

Buffalo, MN 55313

Phone: (763) 682-2181


Mon, Tues, Thurs: 7 am - 7 pm

Wed & Friday: 7 am - 6 pm

Saturday: 8 am - 12 pm

Appointment Request

Carlos’ Corner

Tips for Traveling with Cats and Dogs


You humans ride in the car every day and you're used to it. For my cat and dog friends, it's going to take some time. We promise we're not trying to be difficult on purpose. We actually love you and want to make the experience easier for everyone. That is why we asked the staff here to come up with some tips for the next time you hit the road with pets in tow.  Love, Carlos

When it comes to car travel, most cats hate it and most dogs love it. For cats, being placed in a carrier and put in the car usually means one of two things. They're going to the vet or you're leaving them with a sitter. Dogs, on the other hand, know that a ride in the car means they get to spend extra time with you and maybe even get a treat out of the deal. Of course, there are always exceptions and most pets don’t cooperate right away. Whether you're running a quick errand or planning a cross-country trip, you can take steps to make it more enjoyable for your pet.

Tips for Cat Owners
Cats thrive on routine, which doesn't necessarily mean riding in the car. To get your cat accustomed to the idea, leave her carrier out for a few days. This gives her the chance to sniff it and mark it with her scent as well as check out the inside. If your cat has never been in the car, start with shorter trips and work your way up to longer ones. Be sure that the carrier you choose provides decent ventilation for your cat to avoid even more anxiety. Also, make sure your cat has eaten and used her litter box before setting out on longer trips.

Tips for Dog Owners
It can take a while for a puppy to learn to enjoy car travel. After all, the first trip in a car takes him away from his mother and the next several take him to a place where he gets shots. You can change his perception by playing fun games near the car and offering treats when he gets in willingly. Also, let your puppy see you just sitting in the car for a while to help him realize that it's not a scary experience. As with cats, start with short car trip and gradually increase the time of each trip until your dog learns to enjoy it.

For Both Types of Pets
Cats and dogs should both be in a carrier or crate as well as buckled up when you travel with them in the car. This is much safer than allowing your pet to roam freely in a moving vehicle. For longer trips, be sure to pack a bag of your pet's medications, food and treats, favorite toys, and a blanket or pillow she normally sleeps with at home. While the car trip itself is out of the ordinary, having the comforts of home makes it less stressful.

Lastly, resist the urge to leave your pet alone in the car while you run errands or reach your vacation destination. This is especially critical advice when it's extremely hot or cold outside. Not only will this make him anxious, it can endanger his life. The temperature inside of your car could make your pet very sick or even cause his death. This can happen extremely quickly. An anxious pet is also more likely to try to escape his carrier or crate to try to find you.

If you're planning a long road trip with your pet this summer, be sure to visit us at Buffalo Companion Animal Clinic first. We will make sure that she is up-to-date on her vaccinations and provide you with a health certificate if you need one.

Photo Credit: Mbot / Getty Images

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