Pack Mentality: Chevrolet’s Tips for Traveling with
BANGKOK, THAILAND – When Ms. Channatta Wangpakklang goes places in her Chevrolet Trailblazer SUV, she knows there will be plenty of room for her family, including their two dogs Sheela and Fudgy. The Pattaya resident is a big fan of Chevrolet, having previously owned a Colorado, and her family takes their dogs everywhere.
“After having a baby, I needed a safe and spacious vehicle that can carry every family member to travel together. Fudgy and Sheela have their own regular spots in the Trailblazer, which is good for safety and easy to clean. The Trailblazer is great because it has air vents in the second and third rows. Fudgy is a Shih Tzu, so he is very sensitive to hot weather. Having air vents in every seat row is good for Fudgy and everyone in the family,” Channatta said.
Pet ownership is increasingly popular in Thailand. According to Thailand’s Department of Livestock Development, there are approximately 5.5 million owned dogs and 1.6 million owned cats in the country, as of 2009, the most recent data found. Previous estimates placed the numbers even higher, suggesting that nearly every Thai household has at least one pet.
Traveling with Dogs
Not all dogs can handle road trips, so it’s best to take a few practice runs before a major journey. Here are a few Chevrolet tips for traveling with “man’s best friend.”
- Restrain dogs during car trips for their safety and yours. Options include restraints, pet carriers and cargo barriers. The Chevrolet Captiva and Trailblazer SUVs offer spacious cargo areas that can accommodate a good-size pet carrier and consumers can find specialized pet restraints for use in rear seats. Never let a pet ride in front because it could be seriously injured or killed if an air bag deploys. If the dog is big, the best place for it is in the cargo area. Consider getting the optional cargo tray to protect the carpeting.
- As with children, never leave any pet alone in the car. On a warm, sunny day, even with the windows open, a parked vehicle can become dangerously hot in no time, and heatstroke can develop. Furthermore, unattended pets can be stolen. If you see a pet in distress in the back of a closed car, alert the authorities or animal control if the vehicle owner cannot be located.
- For dogs with anxiety issues or who bark a lot, try a chew toy or treat to keep them occupied. Chewing and licking are very soothing to dogs, and may help yours relax. Captiva and Trailblazer offer plenty of storage compartments for pet toys and treats.
- Identify dog-friendly restaurants, hotels and dog parks on your travel route.
- Some people snacks – like chocolate – can be fatal to dogs. If your dog gets into something dangerous, locate the nearest emergency vet.
Once you get to your destination, walk your dog on a leash to ensure its safety. Even a well-trained dog may feel uncomfortable in an unfamiliar location.
Before the fur flies
Here are some prep steps to help ensure a great trip.
- Make sure your pet is current on vaccinations and, depending on where you’re headed, get additional vaccinations to protect against new threats such as canine Lyme disease. Find and program the number of a 24-hour emergency vet. That way, he or she is no more than a voice command away, thanks to the Trailblazer’s available MyLink infotainment system when paired with a compatible mobile device.
- In case you become separated from your pet, carry a current photo. A dog collar with your cell number also is a good idea. Never allow your dog to leave the vehicle without the collar, ID tag and leash.
Traveling with cats
Scratch these items off the list before you travel with felines:
- Use a pet carrier or cargo barrier. Unrestrained pets can be injured in a crash or pose a risk of injury to other vehicle occupants.
- Familiarize your car by allowing your cat to cheek rub and spread its scent. Or try placing a familiar pet bed, blanket or a towel inside the car.
- Consider packing a portable litter box, collapsible food and water bowls and feline first aid kits. An old scratching post you won’t mind discarding can also help keep cats calm.
- To help prevent dehydration, especially on summer trips, try freezing a bowl of water that cats can lick to keep cool. It is a less messy option for traveling with water.