There is nothing better than spending quality time with man’s best friend. However, when traveling with your dog, whether on a road trip, while camping, or simply for a long weekend out of town, there are a number of considerations to make in order to make sure the trip goes as smoothly as possible. Listed below are a few tips for safe travels.
Properly Restrain your Dog
Although every dog loves to hang his or her head out the car window, this is not the safest action a pet owner can allow. Every year, veterinarians see horrific injuries such as head trauma, eye injuries, and broken bones caused by a dog being allowed to feel the wind in his or her fur. Additionally, dogs should be restrained in the car, either in a crate or with a specialized seatbelt, for the safety of the driver. Loose dogs can easily become a distraction, causing an accident. A restrained dog will also be safer should an accident occur, as the likelihood of being thrown from the car or escaping through a broken door or window is greatly reduced. Also be sure to keep your dog leashed when not in the car, as well. Even if your pet is typically good off leash, being in an unfamiliar area can cause your dog to behave unpredictably and become lost.
Travel with Emergency Information
When traveling with your dog, always be sure to have information on hand including veterinary and vaccine records. This information is especially useful should an emergency occur, resulting in a visit to an unfamiliar veterinarian.
Research Destination Amenities
Before leaving for your destination, look up information on nearby dog parks, dog friendly locations, veterinarians, and boarding facilities. Knowing where these areas are located can come in handy should your dog need to blow off some steam, or if you find you need to unexpectedly board your dog for an evening.
Be sure to pack everything your dog will need for the duration of your trip. Do not forget any medications he or she may take, including heartworm or flea and tick preventatives. Pack more food than you think you will need, and if possible, pre-portion the food into plastic baggies for convenience. Don’t forget items that will make your trip more convenient, such as your dog’s favorite toy or bed. Distracting toys, such as KONGs, can also come in handy when on the road.
Pack a First Aid Kit
Accidents happen, especially when out on the road. Packing a first aid kit for your pet can make all the difference should a problem arise. Suggested items include car-sickness medication, gauze, antiseptic wipes, hydrogen peroxide (to induce vomiting), latex gloves, scissors, tweezers, saline solution, Benadryl, and any other items your pet may need.
Keep your Routine
Try to keep your routine as normal as possible while traveling. For instance, try your best to keep feeding times the same. Also try to exercise your dog as regularly as possible. Doing so will keep your pet’s stress level to a minimum if traveling makes him or her nervous.