When travelling with a pet (or pets) on an Aussie road trip, there are a number of factors to consider before hitting the open road with your much-loved member of the family. You may be going on a well-earned break or moving interstate and driving your family and pets to their new home.

Although at Thrifty, we don’t allow pets in our rental vehicles, we love our furry friends as much as anyone else. Regardless of the circumstances, pets are more susceptible than us humans to so many aspects of their immediate environment. Extreme heat, intense cold, dehydration, and how comfortable your pet is being away from home are just a few things to consider when planning your next getaway with your pet in tow.

We have the top do’s and don’ts for taking your furry friend on holiday.

Be fully stocked with road trip pet essentials

Animals are just like us on a road trip – they need breaks, water, food and a place to relieve themselves. When packing for your pet, make them a “doggy bag” of essentials to take with you.
Dog (or cat) treats are always popular and are a great way to reward your pet for behaving well on the road. Make sure to pack an Esky with bottles of cold water and bring plastic bowls to make it easy to give your furry friend a drink on the roadside when you take your regular breaks from driving.

Make your pet feel secure

Unless your pet is used to hitting the open road with you, the odds are that they may feel vulnerable at the start of your trip. They may be quiet, or they could be very vocal in showing they aren’t happy. Dogs can be restrained in the car or may prefer to sit in a window seat with their head out the window. Cats, however, are less adaptable to change, and so a large cat carrier full of their favourite toys, treats or blankets will help calm their anxiety. Some carriers are large enough to house a small litter box too.

Make sure they are up-to-date with vaccinations

Due to our strict quarantine control, Australia is one of the only nations in the world to be free of common diseases that affect animals, such as rabies. That doesn’t mean that your dog or cat shouldn’t be up-to-date with the vaccinations they do need.

Dogs and cats need a series of vaccinations as puppies and kittens, and then usually a booster shot once a year. The cat-related one protects against feline AIDS, which is very common and can make your kitty pretty sick. Unless you are a registered breeder, be sure to have your pets desexed as well before embarking on a road trip with them.

Healthy animals are happy animals, and your road trip with your pet will be so much more enjoyable and carefree if you know you know they are in optimum health.

Travelling from overseas with a pet? Think again

Unless you are moving to Australia permanently and shifting your entire family here, you’ll face serious barriers bringing your pet into the country for a short period of time. As evidenced by the Australian government’s response to Johnny Depp and his wife illegally smuggling in their dogs, it’s clear we aren’t fans of visitors ignoring our strict quarantine laws. Even if you are a law-abiding citizen, most animals coming into Australia face a long-term quarantine of many months at our borders – so a short holiday with your pet would turn into a long holiday for them. Leave them at home with trusted friends or family, or in a kennel or cattery. You’ll see them again soon.