Travel with Your Dog
A dog is bound to enjoy a trip to the veterinarian or a trip cross-country if certain guidelines and tips are followed. Spending time in the car with a dog’s human can be a great experience for both of you!
A lot of people enjoy road trips, whether it is a trip to a campsite or to see family in a different state. One of the hardest aspects of traveling long distances is the time away from a dog. Worrying about all of the things that could go wrong is the main reason people decide not to bring their dog.
Even flying with your dog can be stressful if you don’t plan ahead and take the proper precautions.
Travel Gear for Dogs
One way to destroy the worrying is to purchase dog traveling gear. Traveling gear is sold at pet specialty stores and online.
Dog traveling gear consists of:
- Car Seats
- Safety Harnesses
- Pet Barrier
- Dog Carrier and/or Kennel
- Calming Aids
- Training Pads
- Travel Dishes for Food and Water
There are many different car seats available to purchase online to fit any size dog. Almost all dog car seats buckle into a seat. Some close all the way around the dog to avoid escaping. Others are made like dog beds – meaning the whole seat is open beside the bottom and sides.
Safety harnesses for dogs attach to the seat belt of a vehicle. The safety harnesses are crash tested and work according to weight.
A pet barrier for a vehicle is a mesh wall that only allows a dog to stay in one part of the vehicle. Pet barriers eliminate a dog wandering around the vehicle. If a crash were to occur, the pet barrier would ensure the dog would not fly into the windshield of the vehicle.
Calming aids are meant for dogs that are naturally nervous during car rides.
Training pads and travel dishes are essential when traveling with a dog. During car rides, a dog might need to eliminate more due to nervousness. Keeping a training pad available will make sure a dog does not mess up vehicle seats and/or floors.
Safety Tips for Traveling with Dogs
Safety is the most important factor when traveling with a dog. The above traveling gear, along with the below safety tips, will guarantee safety for a dog while traveling.
Before making a long vehicular trip, take a dog on short trips – this will allow the dog to become more comfortable with the vehicle and the owner’s driving.
Test out the traveling gear on the short trips and see what traveling gear is best for your dog. Read the directions on all of the traveling gear.
Making frequent stops during a road trip will allow a dog to stretch and use the bathroom, which will eliminate dog muscle cramps and messes in the vehicle.
Talking to a dog while traveling will act as a calming aid to the dog.
Dehydration could cause a dog to become very ill, so plenty of water and food is very important while traveling.
Medications that a dog is on the daily need to be brought along and still given to the dog.
Further Information about Traveling with Dogs
A veterinarian needs to be consulted before a dog goes on a long trip if the dog has certain illnesses or problems.
A dog should never be left alone in a vehicle. The weather might be perfect enough that a dog will not have a heat stroke, but being left alone in a strange place could cause nervousness and stress, which can lead to serious health problems in a dog.
Whether you want to grab an ice-cream or stop at a roadside souvenir stand, you shouldn’t keep your dog waiting in the car especially in the summer heat. Even a few minutes in a hot car can be dangerous, and open windows are often not enough to keep your pet comfortable and safe.
Be sure your dog is wearing up-to-date tags with proper identification information. Also be sure their microchip has been updated if you moved since you first welcomed your furry friend into the family.
Be sure you take along current vaccination information and certifications. If you pet gets sick during your travels you will need this information to visit a vet’s office. Usually a copy on your phone will suffice, but you can also keep a copy in your glove box for safe keeping.
Head into your trip knowing your car will get dirty! Dogs are messy little creatures. Some shed, some slobber, and all of them get dirty. There’s no way around it and the best way to deal is to accept it.
Maintain your routine: It’s not possible to do everything exactly as you would at home, but the more you remain consistent, the better. Once you reach your destination, feed and walk your dog on the same schedule you would at home.