Labor Day Weekend is almost here – time for one last summer road trip!

For many of us, no trip is complete unless our furry friends are with us. While many pets enjoy getting away as much as we do, keep in mind that some pets just don’t like car travel, or cannot tolerate it well. If your pet is nervous, uncomfortable, ill, or injured, they will likely be happier at home with a trusted person taking care of them. But if your furry friend has a suitcase packed and ready, here are our tips for a safe, happy, and stress-free trip.

What to Bring

  • An adequate supply of your pet’s food
  • Food and water bowls
  • Bedding
  • Litter and litter box for cats
  • Favorite toys
  • Grooming supplies
  • First aid kit and any pertinent medications
  • Collar with all your contact information and a travel tag that lists your cell number, as well as the number where you will be staying
  • Proof of rabies vaccination
  • Plastic bags for picking up from pups after potty breaks

What to Avoid

  • Dogs love to stick their heads out of the window, but it’s actually quite dangerous. Many pets are injured or killed by flying debris.
  • Improper restraint kills many pets. A pet safety harness, travel kennel or crate, vehicle barrier, or pet car seat is critical for pet safety. Never travel with a pet in the front seat as a deployed airbag will easily kill even a large dog.
  • NEVER leave your pet in a parked vehicle. Temperatures can hit 120 degrees in minutes and heat stroke is often fatal. Even on a cool day, it’s an open invitation to pet thieves.

Travel Tips

  • Microchip your pet – and make sure the information is up to date!
  • Make frequent stops for exercise and bathroom breaks, and pick up after your pet
  • Always keep your pet leashed when outside the vehicle, and collared at all times
  • Search out pet-friendly accommodations ahead of time, and contact the property to ensure their pet policies are up to date. Nobody wants to start hunting for a place to sleep at the end of a long day.

In Case of Emergency

  • Have with you a copy of your pet’s medical records and your regular veterinarian’s phone number.
  • If your pet runs away, leaving a crate (or even your car!) with familiar-smelling bedding may help bring your pet back.
  • Before you head out on the road, research the local animal emergency hospitals that will be on your path.

We hope you and your furry friend enjoy a safe and memorable end-of-summer road trip. If your travel plans include the Suffolk, Virginia area, The COVE is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.



About Us

The COVE’s veterinarians and staff wholeheartedly embrace the core values of community, collaboration, commitment, compassion, and integrity. This focus ensures that pets, the people who love them, and their primary care veterinarians have as positive and affirming a healthcare experience as possible, regardless of the circumstances that bring us all together.