Tips For Traveling With You Dog
Most of us prefer to take our pets with us when we travel, after all, they are part of the family. And like most dogs they love to go for a ride. But when the ride means long hours in a car there are things we need to consider before we take off.
Vaccinations and Papers
Before you leave make sure you have all the necessary papers you will need for your dog. Always bring proof of rabies vaccination as well as any other vaccinations he has had. If your dog has any on-going illnesses bring a note from your vet explaining his condition and medications he is taking in case you need to take him to a local vet. It is a good idea to make sure he has had his Bordetella vaccination in case you need to kennel him in an emergency.
If your dog is registered with the AKC or Continental Kennel Club bring his ID card with you. It should have his picture on it and that will help prove the dog is yours in case he gets away from you. Your dog should already have a tag on with your address and phone number but if he doesn’t and you don’t have time to get one made you can attach a luggage tag to his collar with your contact information.
Using A Crate
If your dog is not used to riding much he may feel safer in a crate. Make sure you use a sturdy carrier that is approved for car travel and that can be seat belted in. It should be large enough for your dog to be able to lay down or stand up easily. If he’s cramped in a too small space for too long he will get agitated and that could make him sick. Make sure the crate has ventilation holes on both sides for air circulation especially during the summer. You want the car’s air conditioning to reach your dog. Usually crates will have a food and water holder on the inside of the door. It is important for your dog to have access to water when needed. Place a pillow, blanket or small dog bed inside with his favorite toy and he should be good to go. For your pet’s safety, make sure you put a Live Animal sticker on the outside. In case of an accident the authorities will know you have a pet in the car. Also attach a tag with your name, address, phone number and dog’s name to the crate.
Using A Seat Belt
If your dog is not used to a crate it is best that he travel in the back seat of the car. He will need to be seat belted in for his safety. Most pet stores sell dog seat belt attachments. Never let him ride in the front seat as he can get thrown into the dashboard from sudden stops or even hurt or killed from an inflated air bag.
We’ve all seen dogs riding down the street with their heads out the window. It may look cute and of course the dog loves to do that but it is not safe for your dog. While driving You never know how close you might get to something and your dog could get hurt. There is also the possibility that something could fly into his eye which could damage his eyesight. Also, if you own a pickup you should never allow a dog to ride in he back. He could easily get thrown out or even jump out into traffic if something entices him.
Stopping Along The Way
While traveling you need to make frequent stops to give your dog exercise and a chance to relieve himself. Always keep him leashed and make sure
to pick up after he’s done his business. For extra safety you might want to leash him to a harness instead of his collar. Harnesses go around the dog’s body and usually has two hooks for better security.
For long trips you may need to stay in a motel. If you do make sure you choose one that is dog friendly. It is not a good idea to try to sneak your dog into the room. If he barks and you get caught you could be asked to leave without a refund. As a rule try not to leave your pet in the room by himself but if you absolutely have to make sure to put the Do Not Disturb sign on the outside of the door so the maid won’t open it and let your dog out.
If you follow these guidelines traveling with your dog will be a fun and memorable experience.