Podcast: Get Your Licks On Route 66 — Bringing Pets on a Road Trip

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marshall the Frenchie on a road tripRoad trips and big moves can be a lot of fun, or filled with stress. When you add animals to the equation, the opportunities for either scenario are multiplied.

On today's episode, we're sharing tips for successfully hitting the road with our furry companions — from what to pack, to how to use the bathroom when traveling alone.

If you've got great travel tips to add, leave us a comment and share it with the community!

Play Paws & Play episode Get Your Licks On Route 66
Paws & Play Get Your Licks On Route 66

Transcript below

Mia: Welcome back to another episode of Paws and Play with Dr J. I am your co-host, Mia, and who do we have here with us today?

Dr. J: 'Tis I, Dr. J.

Mia: Welcome. I thought I would switch it up a little bit because...

Dr. J: No, I like it. Keep me on my toes.

Mia: So we've made it to episode nine and this is a really fun and exciting topic, one that you and I have both done successfully, so hopefully we can impart a lot of great tips to our listeners.

We are talking road-tripping, which is a lot of fun. A lot of people are doing it throughout the summer, but you know, this is really something that is a topic that it's good to have all these tips no matter what time of year it is.

Dr. J: Yeah, I mean, moving cross-country, visiting family for the holidays, you name it.

Mia: Yep, exactly. So one part of the preparation, maybe let's, let's start here. Preparation is, is a good place to start. You know, it's not just what to pack, it's really getting your dogs and cats mentally ready, and emotionally ready I guess, too, to go on this journey. So, Dr J., I'd love to ask you, since you have done this in the past, what are some things that you've done? Was there a process, I guess, did you have all this information ahead of time when you first did it, or did you just kind of learn by jumping into the fire?

Dr. J: No, totally. I was born with this knowledge in my head. It was absolutely crazy. Um, no, I mean fortunately, well when I did a long drive and move with my dog, she was already pretty much used to the car, and really enjoyed it. Also her travel harness, she was used to.

And then with my cat, and this was going way back when I did a cross-country drive with my cat — or not cross-country, sorry, from north to south to north. But, yeah, I tried to, I mean he was already acclimated to a carrier, so he did well with that. But in terms of like the actually riding longer distances in the car and stopping — and I even tried to harness and leash train him before we left, but, that was not terribly successful. I didn't give myself enough time.

Learn how to walk your cat on a leash (with enough time)

I would say, the knowledge I would like to impart, is when traveling with your pets, when you're planning on traveling with your pets, take as long in advance as possible to prepare them for going through the motions of what that means with traveling. The more preparation work you do in advance and the better you do it, the more appropriately you do it, the better it's going to be for everybody.

Mia: Yeah. So, I mean, one of the things you mentioned is that all of your pet travel buddies have been used to their carriers and stuff like that. Um, when I took a half cross-country trip, from Washington to Kansas a couple of years ago, with Mazel and Marshall both, and Mazel was a little kitten, who was not used to anything, we got him this gigantic, almost play pen, like, I mean, it was huge. He had the most room out of anybody in the car without a doubt by far. Um, but this thing...

Dr. J: So you're doing it right.

Mia: Yes, well, I mean it held the litter box, it had a place for him to, to stretch out, it really took care of everything and we were very fortunate that he...Well — you know, actually I should maybe pat myself on the back a little bit because we did do the preparation of actually setting it up in the house and leaving it for him to come and go, and get used to it and feel safe in it ahead of time. That was, I think, a really big part of it. So as much as you can make it a safe area outside of the car ahead of time, it'll make it that much easier in the car and be more of a safe haven for them.

Marshall and Mazel in Cat Carrier Travel

Tips for Road-Tripping and Moving with Cats

Dr. J: Yeah. And something that just feels natural to them, it's already become part of their life.

Mia: Exactly. So, that's kind of like the biggest tip that I have to impart, I suppose. But I was very fortunate that he didn't have that anxiety. There was some meowing, loud meowing for a while, but he calmed down and I think having Marshall there calmed him down as well. But, you know, not all animals are that psyched about being in the car. So, what are some things, besides maybe getting them ready for their carrier, that we can do?

Dr. J: Getting them used to the car is a really obviously important part. I mean, if you think about it, for cats in particular, oftentimes the only time they see a car is when they're going to the vet. And although vet visits don't have to be as scary as many people believe they are, #fearfreevetvisits — maybe. I'm going to steal a line from John Oliver.

But think about for a lot of cats, the only reason why they go in the car is to go to the vet so you need to kind of change that experience for them and give them really good experiences with the car. And so that can involve, you know, bring them in the car, when it's not too hot or cold out obviously, with it just parked on the street or in your driveway or your garage or whatever. And just play with them in the car, give them treats in the car. Um, you know, if they like to be groomed or brushed, brush them in the car, start doing really fun things with them in the car.

Mia: There is no brushing in my car. That thing would be so full of fur.

Dr. J: Yeah, that's true. Well, think about how much more cush it would be. It would be really nice.

Mia: I'd be eating the hair and inhaling it at all times. I do it around the house. I don't need it in the car.

Dr. J: Right. It's going to follow you everywhere. But you know, yeah, if you start giving them positive associations with a car, so if you basically desensitize and counter condition them. So you're basically turning it from something that is scary, novel, you know, that they're just not comfortable with, to something that they're like, oh cool stuff happens when I'm in here, and including I get treats.

So if you start doing that, and then you can do some of those things when you're driving, obviously not while you personally are driving, but if someone else is driving, you can ride in the backseat with your cat — ideally, again, in their carrier — but start interacting with them like that, giving them treats and things of that nature just to kind of help them then get used to the idea of moving in the car and it still not being the end of the world.

Mia: Yeah, no that's, that's great. And I like the idea of like testing kind of different lengths of car rides too. Just to get them used to it and definitely the idea of going anywhere but the vet, to get them used to that idea as well.

Dr. J: Probably also not going to like construction sites and stuff like that.  But fun places.

Mia: No, exactly. So let's say that where we're driving around and you notice that your animals are, you know, you're still getting them acclimated and they're getting antsy and being vocal. What are some other things, I guess that we can do to calm them down? Um, you know...

Dr. J: Oh, to decrease travel anxiety and stuff? Um, well, so there are some supplements out there that can be quite useful. Um, there are also some things like, uh, the anti-anxiety jackets, like, you know, the most common one I think is the Thundershirt. There's also, I think the Original Anxiety Jacket for dogs. Pheromones can be quite useful. So Feliway for cats or adaptable for dogs. Either in the spray formulation or as a collar can be really nice.

But the other thing is really, medications. So talking to your vet about potentially about anti-anxiety, anxiety-reducing for your pets if they need them for travel. Even getting them used to the car carrier, you know, travel harness phase.

A lot of times these medications can help to bring them down under their threshold of anxiety and allow them to learn and form better associations or formed associations more positive associations better. And so in the long run you might not need the medication is going forward. So talking with your vet about medications that earlier can be useful.

Mia: Well, and I was just thinking like it's probably better to test out the medication ahead of time before just jumping into it on the road.

Dr. J: Definitely. Because some pets. I mean, you know, sometimes will actually have the opposite response to medication. So for giving them something that's going to reduce anxiety or make them a little bit more calm or sedate, there are actually some animals that'll have the opposite effect and they'll actually become hyper and you don't want to be learning that, you know, 30, 40 minutes into your drive when you're on the interstate or something like that.

That's obviously not good. And then also recognizing that sometimes their anxiety is, is uh, at least in part due to nausea. So, you know, because a lot of dogs in particular, but also cats will vomit, you know, when they're, when they got motion sickness, if they're in the car and there are some products out there, um, you know, your vet can, can recommend to you that can actually be really quite effective at helping to stop that nausea and prevent the vomiting. Um, so that may be part of it as well.

Mia: But you would probably be you'd say to go to the meds like as more of a last resort, right? Like try the other stuff first. Not really. I mean I think trying the other stuff, but also recognizing that, you know, if you're, if you're just starting out and your pet's never really experienced, you know, car travel and therefore they're not anxious then yeah, I don't think you have to jump into meds.

Dr. J: Um, and you could start introducing some of those other tools, um, or supplements or what have you earlier. But if you've got a pet that maybe is had some traumatic travel experiences and you really need to do a trip and you really want to bring them or you're moving and you obviously want to bring them. I wouldn't mess around without going the medication route.

You know, I wouldn't put off meds too long quite honestly, because they really can be the thing that helps both allow that, that initial trip, the trip you're taking to happen and to help your pet have a better experience with it. So maybe they are going to be better even still the next time. So meds definitely have their place, but it's, it's certain meds and uh, you know, and they work and slash or you know, more effective and safer, you know, depending on the, on your pet.

So talk to your vet, you know, don't just, if your friend's got some pills that they gave to their dog and it worked a charm for them, don't just take those and give them to your pet without talking to your vet because, uh, that can, that can be ineffective at best and actually quite dangerous at worse.

Mia: How about have you tried soothing music? I usually like to play that for myself when I have some road rage.

Dr. J: Then you're not listening to soothing enough music if you have the range. Um, yeah, no, I think music can definitely help. I mean, you know, I, I, yeah, I mean out here in Portland, Oregon, we have all classical FM, which is awesome and I love listening to it just generally, but you know, that could be, I think helpful for some pets.

You know, I think they did a study, it was a couple of years ago that actually, uh, it was like classic rock music can actually be quite helpful. So it really just depends. I mean it's trial and error, but at the same time, you know, even if they came out with a study that said, you know, I dunno, heavy metal or you know, reggae works the best for pets, if it's not your cup of tea, you also, you know, you don't want to drive up your stress levels just so that your pets are lower because that's not going to be safe. So find something that's good.

And also the way people drive. I mean, you know, don't forget, like if you're a pretty herky jerky on the brakes, that's, you know, not be fun for the pets in the back. So, you know, make sure you leave yourself plenty of time, you know, be a little bit more gentle on the brakes and the acceleration and stuff.

Mia: Um, yeah, because I mean the restraints work, but that doesn't mean that it's not putting pressure on correct. Certain parts.

Dr. J: Correct. And you know, I mean honestly I don't know if we're planning on getting specifically to restraints, but since we're mentioning it, there is one really important thing I always like to mention to people. There are, there are some really good restraints out there and the Center for Pet Safety a couple of years ago I think now did some great crash tests, like actual legitimate crash tests on safety restraints, you know, harnesses and carriers for pets and they got some, some, you know, great results in some interesting results and I think it was SleepyPod actually took top marks in a lot of the categories and SleepyPod I love SleepyPod. They make some great products, they look beautiful and they work like we know that they work.

But what worries me is that I've heard people say, well, I'm not going to get that one or already have one, but I'm not going to use it because it didn't stand up to a crash test. Part of the safety restraint, whether it be a carrier or a harness, part of it is preventing an accident or the need for a sudden stop in the first place.

So if you've got your pet restrained, even if that harness wouldn't stand up to an actual crash, if it prevents them from getting up and by your feet or nudging your arm or you know, jumping out of an open window or something like that, it could potentially prevent the crash anyway. So any degree of restraint, you know, proper restraint is good.

So even if you can't, you know, get or afford the best carrier or harness, whatever it is, just get one that you know, that is, that your pet is comfortable with that you know how to use that can actually prevent them from getting all up in your grill.

Mia: Yeah, it's as important as like, a baby seat.

Dr. J: Totally, totally. So, but that said, SleepyPod does tend to make the best harnesses and they make some really cool carriers as well. So, you know, go with what is been tested and proven to be effective in a, in a crash. But don't shy away from restraint if you can't get the best is what I would say.

Mia: It's sad that people, I mean myself included, I, you know, I don't have the budget necessarily to buy the best of, of everything, but anything you can do is definitely important just for, for keeping our, our fur babies safe in the car.

Dr. J: And everybody in the car and everybody else on the road. Sorry, I will jump up on my soapbox here. Please, please, please do not ride with your pets in your lap. I know it's actually illegal in some states. It's not in others, but please don't do it.

Mia: It drives me nuts!

Dr. J: It is horrifically dangerous. Um, I could actually, if you want to reach out to us, I will send you a link to a newspaper article about a family that lost two human family members as a result of a dog that was riding on a lap and got down by the brake pedal. So just don't do it because my family rides on the roads and I want to keep them safe too. Yeah. Ok off the soapbox for now.

Mia: It was a good soapbox to get up on because it really...There's plenty of other crap happening on the road with people doing their makeup, texting, watching Netflix while driving. Like I've seen just, you know, it's always like where's the cop to pull them over now?

Okay. Anyway, let's get back to road tripping with our pets.  Do you have any other tips for the preparation part of it? I mean, okay, like outside of the packing kind of stuff.

Dr. J: Well, oh, you mean in terms of kind of like planning where you're going to be stopping or where you can bring your pet?

Mia: Yeah, all of that is all that stuff is important.

Dr. J: Yeah. I mean if you kinda know your route. I mean if you're like me, you kind of don't follow a strict plan as far as how you're going to go and kind of let the road take you to a degree where it may, but have a general plan of where you're going to be and look into pet friendly hotels, motels, Airbnb, stuff like that.

There are some hotel chains that are just generally across the board pet-friendly. I think Red Lion tends to be one of them. I think a lot of the Kimpton properties are pet-friendly. So just do a little bit of research before leaving because what you don't want to do is show up, you know, absolutely knackered from an a, a day of driving and then not be able to find a place to stay.

And also recognize that a lot of places that are pet-friendly maybe only set aside a few rooms to be pet friendly. So if you can book them in, try and do so. Oh, and I guess speaking of pet-friendly hotel rooms, you know, if your pet isn't routinely on, especially like flea prevention and you're traveling, and potentially heartworm also depending on where you live and where you're traveling to, but fleas — and they should be on regular prevention.

Um, just a quick step up onto the soapbox and now back down, but, but in pet-friendly rooms, just saying about not everybody's pets are on flea prevention, so you might be going into a flea infested environment no matter how well they vacuum and things of that nature. It's a good idea to have your pet on flea prevention. Um, you know, again, talk to your vet to know that you're getting sort of the most bang for your buck for your buck and then it's going to be an effective product. But it's definitely a good idea to have them.

Mia: Yeah, definitely. And I guess, you know, some of this is also just part of the packing element, but I'm just thinking about if you are traveling and staying at a hotel or motel or something like that. Thinking about, okay, am I going to have to leave my animals there to run out somewhere? Um, stuff like that. Like, I think bringing an Xpen, just thinking about all of these things ahead of time. So I think having an Xpen if possible or some kind of like a baby, you know, area.

Dr. J: Although even then, I mean a lot of pet-friendly places don't want you leaving and rightly so. They don't want you leaving your pets on attended. Now it's a little bit easier with a cat obviously. But with a dog, if they're going to be barking and disturbing the other guests, that's not fair to anyone or shredding up the place, you're going to have to pay money for that.

So you know, some pet friendly places, you know, they, they either may be willing to hold onto them behind the desk if it's not that long, probably not terribly likely. But with services like Rover.com now like maybe you can find a local pet sitter more easily. You know, look into a dog daycare facilities around there that maybe you could drop them off while you go and do things. Um, you know, so those things would all be, would all be options for you.

Finding a Boarding Facility or Pet Sitter: Where to Start and What to Ask

Mia: Yeah. That's. So, that's such a great tip. And something that I had never really thought about. But um, I had seen another blog post. Actually. I'm glad that you mentioned this about Rover. Using like other, um, well I dunno, I have my own feelings about dog daycare but, and I don't really know if they would be able to accept a dog that's out of state, like immediately.

Dr. J: Well they might, they might not be able to. And you bring up a good point. I mean obviously it will be a little bit scary, maybe if they would just sort of, you know, like I'm not proposing like just a drop in, like bring them over and go, hey, here's my dog.

But if you're going to be in a place for awhile, like if you're just going to one hotel, the one area you're going to be there for a week, maybe bring them in the first day you get there for a meet and greet and an evaluation so that you've got that flexibility. Um, you know, and then also just, you know, like a boarding place. I mean I know a lot of, a lot of vets do boarding.

Mia: Marshall is barking in the background. He heard "boarding". He doesn't like it.

Dr. J: He's like, no thanks. But I mean, you know, and it's always a good idea to know where there's a local vet if you're gonna be spending significant time in an area, you know, with your pets. Know where there's a vet. So find one that does boarding and bring your dog or your cat in to say hi. So you know how to get there if there's ever a problem. But also if they've got boarding, maybe they can evaluate them and just hold onto them for a few hours. You know, you'd have to pay obviously, but at least you know that they'd be comfortable, they'd, if it's summertime they'd be in air conditioning perhaps.

Mia: Well that's exactly it. Yeah. And well, and I liked the Rover idea or even the, the boarding for a short period of, of time idea because a lot of people want to stop and sight see and are really worried about being able to do that.

Dr. J: But if maybe, if you're doing your trip more for leisure and sightseeing, you know, these obviously are really good ideas, good tips to kind of put into practice. If you're literally just doing a cross-country or half cross-country move and the goal is to get there as quickly as possible, then obviously you're not going to be sticking around any towns for multiple days.

And in those cases, and if you're traveling with, if there's more than one person you can divide and conquer. It becomes a little bit more complicated if you're, you know, going solo. I was going to say flying solo, but we're talking about driving. So driving solo, it becomes a little bit more complicated potentially to stop and be able to do things.

Mia: Right. Well, a lot more. Even with two sometimes.

Dr. J: Depends on time of year and where you're going. Yeah.

Mia: All right. So like, let's maybe get more into the packing preparations. Um, there's a lot of stuff that would be good to have on hand. Obviously food, litter box if you're traveling with your cat, medications, bed, blanket, but also, some other things that maybe you wouldn't necessarily think about or bring along with you on a regular car ride, like wipes or a first aid kit, seat cover, an extra leash. What else comes to mind?

Create a First-Aid Kit for Your Dog || Create a First-Aid Kit for Your Cat

Dr. J: Well, I mean, if you're going with your dog, I mean obviously don't forget poop bags.

Mia: Yes, poop bags are very important.

Dr. J: And then, if you're with your cat, I mean not just the litter box, obviously the litter probably goes without saying, but then like a litter scoop and then somewhere to put the spent litter basically.

Mia: See my checklist is only partially complete.

Dr. J: That's right. Well you've got somewhere for him to go, but maybe you're just planning on going to the beach and grabbing some sand and giving them that for the litter. Um, you know, but yeah, I mean, you know, you've touched on most of the big ones.

You know, another one though, you know, with your dog, if you're traveling for a significant period of time and you've got um, you know, dry food, I wouldn't suggest just bringing their big bulk bag of, of kibble, um, you know, because if they can get to it in the car, that can cause some pretty significant problems as far as food blog and also I just don't think it keeps it as fresh.

I guess there's some bags that are resealable, but getting something like a vittles vault or some good, you know, secure food storage way to be able to better travel with it is good. A collapsible water bowl is a really good one, you know, for your, for your dogs and your cats really to be able to give them water and, and bringing along water for them as it were.

And then any medications that they might be needing while you're away. Um, I think it's always a good idea to unfortunate there's more and more apps now that allow you to kind of have your pets medical records with you. Um, so that would be nice to have just in case there's a problem and also a current picture of them on your, on your phone, on your smartphone so that should they ever get lost and then, you know, it's not necessarily packing, but ideally your pets are microchipped and uh, and so just making sure that those things are current.

Mia: So, um, how about, uh, for a tip for us, for when we have to go to the bathroom because that is, I think probably, the most common problem in question.

Dr. J: Oh, as far as what you do with your pets if, if nature calls.

Mia: Exactly. And it does often.

Dr. J: Yeah, it does. It does. Yeah. Um, well I guess I guess you could always do the diaper thing.

Mia: No.

Dr. J: Or the empty Mountain Dew bottle.

Mia: Not me!

Dr. J: No, it's um, yeah, I mean it certainly can be a problem I guess too, especially if you're traveling alone. Um, but you know, I mean you could still stop at places. Again, you really have to take into account what's going on, weather-wise. First again, you want to make sure that your pet is restrained in the car because...So you don't want them getting into your purse. You don't want him getting into their bulk food. You don't want him getting into anything. So having them restrained.

If it's warm out, I know a lot of people will say they'll leave the car running and lock it either from their key fob or a second set of keys. They'll leave the car running and the air conditioner on, um, which you know is, can be good and can be safe.

Two cautions, one is, again, you want to have him restrained because you don't want them inadvertently flipping the air conditioner over to the heater because that would be bad. Or getting your car out of park and it rolling away.

But also recognize that, that can buy you enough time to go pee, depending on how large your bladder is. But, also, air conditioner compressor fail. I mean, even in police cars. Like there have been police canines that have died of heatstroke, when they'd been left in a cruiser with the air conditioner on. And, and unfortunately when the air conditioners fail, oftentimes they can start blowing hot air.

So just be aware of that. If you're going to be a little bit longer, like if you need to go get a bite to eat and it's, and it's warm, go to a drive through. You have control over where you eat, so you can try and go to a drive through.

Obviously if you were going to take advantage of the food stop to pee, that's not as helpful, but at least maybe you're just running in to pee now and not necessarily to sit down and have a meal. Try and stop during the cooler parts of the days. Try and find reliable shade that you can park in. You can leave the car running, with the air conditioner. Great. But park it somewhere and then sit somewhere in the restaurant where you can see them.

Mia: Yeah seeing them is important.

Dr. J: So yeah, I mean set a timer on your phone like every 10 minutes. Go out and check on them and make sure that they're fine, you know. And maybe even, because people will rightly potentially be concerned, you can even leave a note saying like, you know, the air conditioner is on, I left them in here starting at whatever, 1:00 and then they can see like they've only been in there for five minutes, um, you know, and the air conditioner's on and it's fine. And you know, so just so you can avoid problems or confrontation. So there are some steps that you can take for them to help you be able to relieve yourself.

Mia: Well, I'm trying to think. Um, well not think I'm trying to find. There's actually, you know, talking about leaving your pets in the car while you go. Obviously, uh, you know, you mentioned restraining them, but even if you do restrain them, put on the parking brake, just in case. Um, but I think I'm trying to find it, but I know that there's a product that, okay, it's called a Nimble Temperature Monitor, that tracks the temperature inside of your car and it can send email.

Dr. J: Oh, is it tethered to your phone?

Mia: So it, yeah, it'll send email and text alerts if the temperature passes the limits that you set for yourself, which I think is great peace of mind.

Dr. J: Totally. And I liked the idea of the remote temperature sensor. The only thing I would caution is, you know, technology fails sometimes, so don't rely on it 100 percent. It's not a crutch, it's an additional tool, any of these things are. The best thing that you can be doing is coming out and checking on them regularly and making sure that they're fine.

And so, you know, we're obviously specifically mostly talking about heat here. I mean, you know, cool temperatures, cold temperatures can also be problematic. Um, but heat tends to be more problematic more rapidly. Um, you know, so you want to make sure that they're not, you know, excessively panting, sort of pawing it the window, trying to get out. They're alert enough. I mean, they could still be laying down and resting if they're comfortable because it's cool in the car. That's great. If you go out and they're resting and you can see that they're breathing at a normal rate and everything and without any increased effort, fantastic. You don't even have to bother opening the door to check on them or disturb them, you know, but, but make sure on a very regular basis that things are still copacetic.

Mia: Yeah, a good point. Thinking about rest stops for ourselves. It's always easy or it's easier to be taking our dogs out. Um, but you know, cats, it's a lot harder to tell them to go to the bathroom on demand, um, or to do any of your bidding on demand.

Dr. J: I think it's quite the reverse. We do their bidding on demand.

Mia: Yeah, mostly. So, you know, do you have any, um, you know, I obviously I was very fortunate that we had the big thing that Mazel, had his litter box and he used it. But you know, not everybody can even can travel with something that large. How, how, how do other people do it because since I haven't actually gone through that,

Dr. J: I mean if you can take the time beforehand to harness and leash train your cat, I mean that, that can help a lot. That opens up a world of possibilities, to help them do their business outside. Again, you should ideally pick it up. I know most people don't pick up their cat poop, but it would be a nice thing to do.

Mia: They don't?

Dr. J: Um, and uh, yeah, well, not outside because typically it's the cat's outside on their own and they're doing their thing. But I guess if your leash walking them in your right there, hopefully people will pick it up. But now that he was going to give you an opportunity with your cat to um, you know, let them relieve themselves.

But it's also great because that's one of the nice things about traveling with dogs is you're more likely to be stopping at say, you know, city state parks and things of that nature where you, they can stretch their legs and then maybe you can go on a hike and now you could potentially do it with your cat to if their harness trained so they're not just getting to relieve themselves that they and you are getting to stretch your legs and see another part of the country or state or you know, whatever.

So harness training can be great. Um, you know, short of that, it can be pretty difficult. I mean having a litter box and an area that you could then, you know, if, if it can't be in a little carrier that they're in while you're traveling, maybe there's an area in your, you know, in your hatch or your trunk or whatever that you can put them when you stop and give them an opportunity to go to the bathroom. I mean, cats like to go to the bathroom and you know, not necessarily out in the open. So try and make it a friendly bathroom environment for them.

Mia: Yeah. Okay. Good luck to everybody out there doing that.

Dr. J: Safe travels have fun.

Mia: Yes. And if a and if you have any, you know, experience positive or you know, even if it's negative and stuff to maybe avoid doing, let us know. Yup. Um, and you know, I think that there's probably a lot more that we could go into a, especially in terms of things to pack of course. Um, but you know, is, do you have any other kind of tips to making this as enjoyable as possible for everyone?

Dr. J: I think probably the biggest one is just to prepare for a lot of this stuff in as well, in advance as possible. Um, and also just to enjoy it. I guess the biggest thing maybe be to leave yourself plenty of time so that you can explore because part of the beauty of road tripping for me is you do get to see different parts of the state or the country or your town or something like that. And, and maybe you know, if you can, if it doesn't add too much time to your trip, avoid the interstates, avoid the highways, you know, take some of the back roads and really see some of the beautiful parts of, of the country. Um, it can be really nice.

Mia: That sounds lovely that this kind of made me want to go on another road trip.

Dr. J: When we leaving?

Mia: Well, what are you doing in 10 minutes? Well thank you so much for all this information. This is a lot of fun. And, and yet, uh, if, if I do end up taking another road trip, uh, anytime soon I'll report back on any of the news because Mazel has, uh, has grown quite a bit since the last road trip.

Dr. J: Well, I'm sensing a video blog, a vlog. Of Mia's road trip adventures.

Mia: Well here. Oh, I just thought of something that's also fun for at least the dogs. If you stop at Starbucks and ask for a Puppachino. Yeah. Marshall loved that.

Dr. J: Unless your dog has lactose intolerance?

Mia: Yeah. Well, and make sure that they don't have too much because again, it might be a smelly car ride, but yes. Otherwise. Fantastic. Awesome.

Dr. J: Look at you trying to end on a positive note, and I'm like, oh no, but digestive upset. I'm super fun at dinner parties.

Mia: Always something leading back to poop or farts or something like that.

Dr. J: Exactly. Hey, they're cats and dogs. It's what they do professionally.

Mia: And they do it well as well. Thank you so much. Again, Dr J. And if you have a question for Dr J to answer, please remember to...

Dr. J: Or for Mia.

Mia: Sure, if you have a question for me, I can't imagine what it would be, but definitely feel free to write in and we'll do our best to answer. So thank you so much for listening and we'll be back with another podcast soon.

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About the author

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Mia Horberg

Mia Horberg is a Digital Strategist at Preventive Vet, and when she's not working she is watching Jeopardy! with her wife, planting flowers and veggies, and hanging out with her senior rescue pug Mabel Petrillo, and exotic shorthair kitty, Mazel von Schmear Visage. A lover of all animals, Mia is also lucky enough to volunteer at a rescue where she gets to hang out with goats and sheep every week.

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