I think that Summer is a great opportunity to bring your cat or dog along with you on some great trips and activities. I have plans for my pets this summer. I want to involve them in as many outdoor activities as possible. Camping, hiking, canoe trips, trails, beaches, BBQs, and so much more! Let me know in the comments what you plan on doing with your pet. Create a summer bucket list for you and your cat or dog. Share the list!
Below are my tips and tricks when taking my cat or dog outdoors.
Traveling with Cats (Day Trips/Short Trips)
I think that traveling with cats can be a great experience, if done the correct way.
It is important to take cats outside of the house because cats need physical activity and mental stimulation.
A trip or outside time can be healthy and fun but it can also be scary, overwhelming and dangerous.
Before you decide that you want to take your cat with you on a trip or on an outdoor adventure, it is important to realize that cats are curious and will notice everything in their environment. They'll want to look and listen and smell before moving on. If you would like to take your cat for a walk, it can sometimes be slow and you won't actually be walking, more like following your cat around and hovering over them while the sniff the plants.
But this can be a good thing, and cats can help you slow down and see the world in a whole new way. Even the backyard can be a big adventure for your cat.
Once a cat is comfortable on leash, going outside, and comfortable in different environments, cats can keep you company relaxing beside the campfire and sitting on the front porch.
You can even take your cat for a walk or a hike, with a backpack designed for cats.
Road Trips with Cats
If you are taking your cat along with you’re a on a road trip, you will need to have your cat in a carrier and comfortable on a leash and harness.
It is important to know that cats when scared, uncomfortable, stressed, will jump and bolt of out the car.
Before your trip, train your cat to be comfortable with the carrier and the car.
Take take test drives around the block. These drives should only last 5 mins or less
These test drives, will gradually get your cat comfortable with the experience of riding in a car.
During your Trip:
-keep your cat in the carrier
-have patience and stop regularly for fresh air and to stretch and get out of the carrier
- Have a little box in the car and give your cat the opportunity to use it
-whenever you cat is out of the carrier, keep the leash on
Supplies to keep in the car:
-towels and wet wipes to be used in travel sickness or potty accidents occur.
-fresh water and a bowl
-a litter box
-necessary anxiety or stress relief (more below)
Be aware of and watch for signs that your cat isn’t handling your car trip well. These signs may include meowing, howling, drooling, panting, pacing, vomiting or eliminating in her carrier.
To make car trips less frightening, cover the carrier with a light cloth that is thin enough for ventilation. Cats feel safer when they can hide. You may also purchase a synthetic pheromone product, available at most pet stores, which you can spray on the towel. The Pheromones in the spray help cats feel more familiar and comfortable in a stressful environment. There are also other over-the-counter calming aids that come in the forms of collars, sprays and creams that may help.
What to bring for your cat on overnight trips:
- comfortable bedding
- blanket or comfort from home
- a roomy cat carrier
- leash and collar
- identification and necessary papers
- your cats regular food. Unfamiliar food may cause stomach aches, diarrhea, or sickness. Familiar food will also be comforting.
- Your cats regular litter and box (cats can be picky and may not go to the washroom if they don't like what is supplied)
Road Trips with Dogs
When traveling with a dog, be certain to take frequent stops along the way. Stop for breaks and short walks to stretch legs and take washroom breaks. Use a tug toy to play with a rest stops. Tug games will provide mental and physical stimulation. Use a frisbee or ball at rest stops where you have a park or an open place. Keep your dog entertained in the car by providing a chew toy, bone or Kong.
Supplies to bring in the car:
-towels and wet wipes (travel sickness, potty accidents, muddy paws etc.)
-fresh water and bowl
-carrier and blanket
-Leash, Collar, Harness
-necessary anxiety or stress relief (more below)
Before the road trip to sure to get out excess energy by going on a good run or visit the dog park just before leaving. A tired dog is often a well-behaved dog. You dog may also feel more rested and sleep in the car.
During the trip, keep an eye on your dog, if you notice your dog is stressed or anxious while riding in the car you should consider using some natural stress reducing remedies. Consider products such as Thundershirts (pressure wraps), pheromones sprays, or Bach’s Rescue Remedy.
Camping with dogs:
Some of the basic supplies to bring for your dog while camping:
-Carrier or bed, ensure that your dog has their own spot and place to retreat to and feel comfortable
-towels and wet wipes
-leash, harness, collar
-toys (ball, freebee, tug toy, plush toy, squeak toy)
-food and food dish
-fresh water and water dish
- umbrella, tent or something to provide shade and sun protection
- a first aid kit
- flea and tick sprays and repellent safe for dogs
-your dogs bed or crate so your dog will have a place to retreat to
-bones or chew toys
Hiking with Dogs: Dogs in the Outdoors
There are many outdoor activates that we can enjoy with our dogs. These can be hiking, camping, spending time at the beach, and near the water. When taking a dog outside in the warmer weather to enjoy these activities, there are a few things to be aware of.
- Over heating
Be sure you dog isn't too hot. Provide shade and plenty of water.
-Know your surroundings and don’t let your dog wander off lead or get close to cliffs.
-Take frequent breaks every 10-15 minutes.
-Be sure that your dog has access to water at all times
-Consider using paw covers or booties on rocky trails to prevent abrasions
Dangers to watch out for
- Predatory Animals
-Fleas, Ticks, and Mosquitoes
-Edges of Cliffs
- Extreme Weather
To prevent your dog from getting too close to a campfire:
-Put someone in charge of watching your dog while there is an open flame
-Keep your dog on a short, non-retractable lead
-Remove food from around the fire when you’re finished cooking
When out with your dog, it is also important to remember to obey leash laws
Take caution around wildlife
Be mindful of the weather
Clean up after your pet
You must also be careful around water. Even if your dog is a strong swimmer and you frequency take your dog to water, water can be dangerous. Dogs can panic in the Water. The waters temperature and the flow of the current differs depending where you are. Dogs often panic in the water when they cannot find the exit at places such as a dock or cliff. If your dog jumps into the water and cannot make it back out because the deck or edge is too high, even the best swimmers can panic.
When you're out with your dog in a different location with different smells, sounds, and sights, he may act out by misbehaving. It may seem as if he forgot all of his manners and basic obedience. To keep your dog from acting out, try to keep your usual routine or establish a new one and stick to it while you're away. Try to feed your dog at the same time every day. Go for a walk at the same time. Changes in schedule and routine can cause stress and agitation in your dog.