You may be planning to hit the roads on the weekend but feeling bad about leaving your furry friend behind. Well, why not take him along? No one can be a better travel companion than your dog if you are up for some adventure and fun. They love spending time with their humans, never judge you, and agree with all your choices. All you need is a little preparation to have a fantastic time with your pooch.
Here are a few tips that can help you plan a road trip with your dog:
If you are staying at hotels or plan on some site-seeing, you need to do some research before heading out. Search for pet-friendly hotels and try finding a place that charges a one-time pet fee. Also, make a list of the type of locations you want to visit with your dog. For instance, if your dog enjoys the water, you can look for dog-friendly beaches. Keep your dog’s choices in mind while short-listing the places you will be visiting.
How to Pack for the Trip?
Since you are traveling with your pup, you will be packing for two this time. Make sure you pack all the essentials, so you don’t get yourself in trouble. Here is a great idea, make a travel checklist to help you pack; these are some of the things that are a must-have when traveling with dogs:
- Make sure you keep all your dog’s documents such as vaccination records, medications, and your veterinarian’s contact information, handy. Some hotels might ask you for this information so be prepared. You can also download apps to save crucial information and to help look for veterinarians in the city you will be visiting.
- Your furry friend needs food and water on the way so don’t forget to pack his favorite food. Some pets don’t eat anything other than their regular food so if you will be staying away from home for a longer duration, either pack sufficient food or make sure it is available in the other city. Keep treats packed for the trip to encourage good behavior. Your pup may get thirsty while you drive, getting a spill-proof bowl can reduce your hassle.
- You don’t want for the car seats to get dirty right, pack your dog’s favorite blanket to protect the car from getting covered in fur.
- A first-aid kit is equally essential while traveling with your pup, as accidents may happen. So it is better to stay prepared. Here are a few things that you must keep in the kit: Gauze, small bandages, swabs, antiseptic wipes, a thermometer, and a hydrogen peroxide solution.
- You don’t want to return from a trip with your dog infested with fleas, so make sure you do carry flea preventives for your dog.
- Keep your pup’s favorite toys to keep him entertained during the trip, a leash and collar.
- And lastly the most essential, poop bags.
How to deal with motion sickness?
A common problem with dogs is car sickness. It causes drooling, whining, and may make your pup throw up, that is indeed not how you want your pooch to have fun. If your dog isn’t accustomed to car travel, I wouldn’t recommend going on a long trip.
You must begin with taking your furry friend for shorter trips, go for a drive to the nearby store to pick a few things up and gradually increase the trip durations. Don’t worry if your pup initially shows symptoms of motion sickness. Most dogs do get over it with time. However, if that isn’t the case, then you should consult the vet. The veterinarian can also prescribe medicines to help prevent car sickness. I would also recommend taking frequent breaks from the car (every 3 hours at least) to get your pup out of the car for some fresh air, exercise and toilet breaks.
Restrain Your Dog
I have often witnessed dogs roaming around in cars and poking their heads out of the window; this is highly dangerous and should be taken care of. Make sure you restrain your pet as it is crucial not just for your dog’s safety but also for others on the road. An unrestrained dog can act as a projectile flying with high forces, in case of a collision. Plus there is also the risk of your pup causing distraction and above all, driving with an unrestrained dog can get you fined. Consider investing in a good quality pet harness or a dog car seat to keep your pup safely restrained. You can also use a crate and secure it to the backseat of your car with a harness or belt.
Make sure you keep a recent picture of your dog and get him a collar with tags. You can write down your details on it, in case your pup goes missing and people need to get in touch.
Lastly, focus on having a great time with your pooch. Choose activities that are accommodating for your pup and make the most of the time the two of you have. Take it as a chance to strengthen your bond and create amazing memories.