Traveling with your dog can be a great deal of fun. Having your companion can make your experience even better, but it requires more planning. You should give yourself enough time to plan to avoid any bumps in the road. Below we will give you five tips for having a safe car journey with your dog.
1. Seatbelts for dogs
Just like you use a seatbelt, and make sure your kids are safely strapped in, you should do the same for your dog. This is the safest way of transporting your dog, either by having their own seatbelt or a dog car harness. They will be safe and it will prevent any possible injuries in the event of an accident. Besides the safety of the dog, you will be safe and all the other passengers. Another option to consider is using a pet carrier. It’s perfect for small dogs as it keeps them in one place, and they can’t interfere with you driving.
2. Plan your route
When you decide where you are going to travel, the next thing you should look into is a course for your dog. There are numerous sites that can show you pet-friendly attractions, restaurants, and dog parks. If you are traveling alone, you should take a break every couple of hours, in case your dog needs a bathroom break or water. It will also be a good opportunity for them to experience and enjoy the new environment.
3. Book a pet-friendly hotel
Unfortunately, not all hotels and lodging accept dogs, so you should plan ahead and check with the hotel to see if they are a pet-friendly place. You will save yourself a lot of trouble and stress later on. It may require calling ahead to the hotel to see if they have pet policies that may include some restrictions to some breeds or additional fees. Pet-friendly hotels can be a great place for your dog to relax, as they can have a special place for your dog to relax, play, and meet some other pet-visitors.
4. Plan your dog’s safety
No matter how much you prepare, something can happen, so planning what to do in stressful situations will help you a lot. Having a first aid kit for your dog is essential, in case they get hurt in some way. In case your dog escapes, having quality pet id tags and microchipping your dog will help you find it. A recent picture of your dog can also be of great help. It is strongly advised to bring your dog’s medical record from the vet. Inform yourself what medication and vaccines your dog has gotten, so you can react momentarily in case of an emergency. Look into nearby vet clinics, along the road you are taking and in the place you are staying.
5. Packing the essentials
Last but not least, you need a list of essentials to pack for your dog. You will need a water bowl, your dog’s food, medication, poop bags, medical records, a leash, a dog bed, and some toys. Some dogs don’t want to drink water they are not used to, so for the beginning of the trip bring some water from home. Do not feed the dog before you start the drive because they can easily get car sick. Plan meals and mealtime ahead, so it doesn’t interfere with your driving schedule. Opt for smaller portions 3 – 4 hours before the beginning of the drive, and after that make sure you feed the dog at least an hour before driving. Items for your dog can really add up, so pack a special small bag just for him and keep it close to you for easy access.
These tips can help you if you are traveling for the first time, and make sure you have enough space to have fun on the trip and not worry. It’s maybe not possible to do the same things and routine as you have at home, but try to be consistent. When you get to your destination, return to your normal walking and feeding schedule to make sure your dog is comfortable in the new environment. Have fun and enjoy traveling with your companion.