Safe and Happy Car Travel with Dogs
Your pets are part of the family and traveling with them can be a real joy, especially if you take the proper steps to make sure that you have all of their needs covered for your journey. Here are 5 tips that will help to keep everyone healthy and happy on a road trip with your dog.
1. Make a seating arrangement
What may start off as a comfortable and quiet journey can often end up cramped and chaotic, so make sure to select a seating arrangement that works for everyone. Make sure that your pet has a nice, comfortable area to ride in. Good ventilation and protection from the hot sun is important. Depending on the size and behavior of your pet, a crate for travel might be best.
If you do choose to use a crate for your pet, make sure that someone in the vehicle has easy access to the crate and that the door can be opened easily in the event of an emergency.
2. Take frequent rest stops
Not only will this prevent any accidents in the car, but it will also allow for everyone to stretch their legs and get a breath of fresh air. It might extend your journey but your happy travelers (both human and canine) are worth the extra time.
Take advantage of your stops and take in the scenery. Use these breaks as photo opportunities. Dogs love new settings and they are always up for adventure, so let them sniff out the new area and relax and enjoy your time out of the car.
3. Prepare for motion sickness and anxiety
If you are unsure of how your dog will travel or if you know he is prone to issues, then it might be worth visiting your veterinarian to ask about medications for relieving anxiety and/or motion sickness. Just like humans, some dogs travel better than others and a sick dog will definitely put a cramp (and smell!) in your vehicle.
4. Pack the proper food and accessories for your dog
This tip seems like a no-brainer but it’s also the one that could be the most stressful to overlook. Travel can be so unpredictable, so it is always a good idea to overpack when it comes to any pet food and and medication. Keeping their diets the same while traveling is always the safest bet as a change in diet can really effect some dogs.
On that note, try to be very consistent with your dog’s meals during your travels and keep new foods and snacks to a minimum to avoid any adverse reactions. Offer your dog water often as animals can dehydrate easily, which can lead to stress and discomfort. There are several collapsible bowls on the market that are perfect for traveling with pets.
You will also want to make sure that you not only have a collar with tags on your dog, but a microchip is highly recommended as well. In the event that you are somehow separated from your animal, you want to maximize the chances of having your dog returned to you. It is also important to have a leash handy for securing your pet when needed, and it is always a great idea to have waste disposal bags for any bathroom breaks that your dog might need.
5. Enjoy the journey
The great thing about dogs is that they have the amazing ability to make the best out of almost any situation. The most random rest stop could turn into a tail wagging adventure, so follow the lead of your four-legged friend and let the wind blow your ears back as you soak in the beauty of the journey!
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