A road trip is a wonderful thing and South Africa has your holiday adventures and memories covered with beautiful beaches, dramatic mountain ranges, off-the-beaten-track Karoo towns and the ever-popular bushveld. Travelling with kids comes with its unique challenges, but pets are passengers too, and there are certain considerations to factor in if your dog(s) are joining in on the holiday vibes.
Here at Weelee, we are not just an innovative platform where you can sell your car for the best price; we are also ‘dog whisperers;’ knowing what your pets need when they tag along for the ride.
5 Pet-friendly travel dos
- Check-in etiquette: Although a no-brainer, we thought it was still worth a mention. Make sure your destination of choice is happy to accommodate a pet or two. And our Weelee advice is that even if you are staying with family or friends, you need to get the thumbs up from them first. Never just presume they are happy to host your pets
- H2O: Buy bottled water or bring your own water from home and a water bowl, and ideally stop every 2 hours to give your animals a chance to be rehydrated.
- Pit stops: Your pets need to regularly stretch their legs and relieve themselves on a long road trip. (They are much like kids in this regard). Let them have a sniff around, keep them on their leash and have a poop scoop and waste bag on hand. (it’s the right thing to do).
- Buckle up: For your safety and the safety of your fur babies, pets need to be safely stowed. If in a passenger seat, a variety of pet booster seats and pet carriers are available that can be secured with safety belts. (it is important that pets can stand, sit, lie down and turn around whilst travelling and should be raised to see out the window and watch the world go by). If in an SUV or small hatchback, make sure there is a net between the open boot section and the back seat to prevent them from jumping over and distracting the driver. (Remember your pet’s comfort blanket or favourite toy to keep them calm).
- Be prepared: In the unfortunate circumstance that your pet goes rogue and gets lost along the way, a microchip or name tag is essential. Accidents also happen, and if your pet gets injured en route, an animal first-aid kit – containing bandages, gauze and antiseptic cream – is a must-have. Like humans, animals are prone to suffering from car motion sickness, so ask your vet for some anti-diarrhoea or anti-nausea tablets before you leave home. Your pet’s up-to-date vaccination card should also make it into your luggage in case you get stopped by the police.
5 Pet-friendly travel don’ts
- ‘Padkos:’ Although the rusks, biltong, egg sandwiches and flask of coffee are quintessentially South African road trip fare, dogs do not do well with eating and travelling in the car. Ideally do not feed them just before you leave and do not feed them along the trip. (Just keep them hydrated).
- Travel companion: The law is clear when it comes to animals travelling in the car and no animal may travel on a driver or passenger’s lap. If pulled over, you will be fined. Dogs are also not allowed to travel on the back of Bakkies on the open road.
- Still breathing: Never confine your animal in a closed boot! There is not enough air and they will likely be traumatised!
- Watching the world go by: It is recommended that while you are driving, dogs do not stick their heads out the window. It makes for a great feature image for this blog but is not advisable; flying objects could hit them and they could get dust and grit in their eyes.
- Air control: Depending on the weather, keep the internal temperature of the car regulated so your pet doesn’t get too hot or too cold and never leave them in a closed car when you pop out for your own pitstop. And If they do need some fresh air, open the window just a little.
If you are interested in the nitty gritties of our South African laws regarding travelling with pets, then this article by Arrive Alive will keep you well informed.
Weelee – your pet-friendly ‘sell your car’ online platform
Never thought of taking your pet on holiday with you? Now that the idea is in your head, you might want to sell your sedan for an SUV or hatchback to comfortably accommodate any furry travel companions on your next road trip. (Definitely beats the exorbitant kennelling fees). We can help with getting you the best price for your car thanks to multiple offers from certified buyers on our safe and secure platform.