Keep your pets happy on vacation

Summertime is vacation time, and when we take our pets on the road, one of the most important things we can do to make sure they have a nice trip is keep their tummies happy.

With all the other changes putting stress on them, the last thing we want to do is change their diet routines so much that they have a reaction and issues with their digestion.

If you are going to change you pet’s diet, the last thing you should ever do is make the change right when or just before you go on a trip. Make the changes ahead of your trip.

Taking food across borders can sometimes be an issue. Some ingredients in some foods are restricted at the U.S. border, and many border agents will not allow open bags of pet food to cross the border, even if those foods were made in the U.S. If you want to take your pet’s food with you, checking with border services before you go is a good idea.

Many brands are available on both sides of the border and checking the manufacturer’s website can show you where you can find them. Before leaving, though, check with the store you intended to buy from to make sure they carry the specific flavour you need.

If the food you use is not available where you are going, there are many foods that may be close. Consult with staff at your pet food store to see if they can suggest something that may work, and then transition your pet at least a week beforehand.

Some people that feed a raw diet may find it difficult to continue while on the road. With the increase in popularity of raw feeding, raw food is now readily available just about anywhere. Most raw foods are compatible, so they can interchange easily, and many are available in smaller package sizes so you don’t have to keep them frozen while you travel. Smaller packages are more expensive, of course, but can be much more convenient. A simple cooler can keep them safe while you travel.

If you don’t want to travel with raw, there are options that may be more convenient, but still provide the many benefits. Freeze-dried products are a simple, convenient, just-add-water option. There are also dehydrated or air-dried products that are close to raw. If weight and cost are not a factor, there are high-meat-content (95 per cent) canned foods that are close to raw (no carbs). Again, it is best to try these out before you travel and possibly convert them a week before to make sure.

Regardless of the type of food you are using, making sure that you have a good probiotic included in the food can help keep your pet’s digestive system operating normally. Most are available in powder form which travels well. There are also natural anti-diarrhea products it might be good to have on hand.

You might also look into motion sickness products for your pets as well and, while there are many sites that offer dosage recommendations, you may want to consult your vet for how much to use.

To have the best results on any vacation, planning is the most important part. The last thing any family wants on vacation is a pet feeling under the weather.

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