With the pandemic finally slowing down in many states across America, many families are looking forward to and starting to book vacations. Sometimes they can’t fathom taking a vacation without including their beloved dogs.
While many dogs love to travel, sometimes traveling can be stressful if the owner is not well-prepared. Take some time to plan for a long ride with these helpful tips so that your journey is safe and comfortable for both you and your furry companion.
GET THEM USED TO RIDING IN YOUR VEHICLE
If you can, take some shorter trips leading up to the long ride with your dog so that they are accustomed to riding in the vehicle. Gradually, increase the length of your car trips so that your dog gets used to longer times in the moving vehicle as well.
Make the trips enjoyable, bringing treats and water for your dog to enjoy. Bond Vet in Garden City advises that sometimes dogs, just like humans, can get car sick. In this case, it can be helpful if on the long car trips to stop while feeding to avoid any sickness. They also advise that it be wise to bring your own water from home or use bottled water for the dog to drink, as sometimes foreign water can cause illness.
For safety, you must restrain your dog within the vehicle during the ride. It is never safe for the dog to be able to roam around, especially if the dog is prone to venturing to the driver’s lap. You need to keep your focus on driving, and your dog can be a big distraction when getting excited or scared.
The best way to ensure your dog is safe and restrained while in the vehicle is by putting it in the backseat. If you have a carrier for a smaller dog, this is also preferable, as long as there is enough room for the dog to sit up, stand, and turn around. You can also use a pet seatbelt.
IDENTIFICATION AND TRAVEL KITS
Just as it will be essential for you to bring along things like your driver’s license, your pet should also have identification. If they have a collar with an identification tag, a home address, or phone number, that would be the most helpful in case it gets lost at any point. If you don’t own one, you can get your dog a temporary tag with your phone number on it.
In most cases, it would be most helpful if you packed a travel kit for your dog. Travel kits include things like health and immunization records, as well as any medications your dog might need while away. If you are traveling across state or international lines, you might need a health certificate in addition to vaccination records.
You should also include any supplies like food/water bowls, waste bags, and a few toys. Safety kits are also a good idea, such as a first aid kit – this should be a staple not just for the dog but for anyone who might need first aid.
DON’T LEAVE YOUR DOG ALONE
If it is a warm or hot day, a parked vehicle can become a furnace. It would not take long for your dog to develop heatstroke, even with the windows down, so do not leave your animal alone in the parked car. If you happen to see an animal in a parked car on a very hot or cold day, you should do your part to help them.
If you need to stop to eat or take a potty break, you can bring the dog on a leash and tie it outside so that you can easily keep an eye on it. You can also use other family members to take turns on dog duty at rest stops if you are not traveling solo.
KEEP YOUR DOG’S HEAD INSIDE THE VEHICLE
You also shouldn’t let your dog ride with its head outside of the car window, especially if you’re on busy highways or interstates while driving. You never know when there might be some kind of debris that could strike your dog or if you suddenly have to hit the breaks so that your dog doesn’t get hurt on the window. The fast-flying air in their face can also contribute to your pup getting sick.
If you are concerned about your dog becoming sick on a long car ride or worried about it being nervous or stressed out flying, some safe dog sedatives can be utilized to help. As long as you keep your dog’s safety at the forefront, you and your dog can travel comfortably to your desired destination for an enjoyable vacation.