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Taking your dog on a road trip? It can be frustrating for old-time dog owners, but it can be downright physically or mentally demanding for first-time fur parents.
It doesn’t have to be that way. Here are some tips you might want to consider before you go on your first trip with your dog:
Prepare Your Dog For The Trip
Taking your dog to a trip is a next level pet parenting. To prepare you and your dog, do a short trip with your dog before your grand travel. By pulling off a practice run, you will see how your dog will react. You can gauge whether they will have motion sickness, or be anxious.
Talk To Your Vet
If you discover that your dog suffers from motion sickness, immediately ask your vet for advice and prescriptions.
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It is also crucial to take your dog to vet for a checkup before hitting the road to make sure it is healthy enough to travel.
Bring Your Dog’s Essentials
If you’re going to be on the road with your dog, always aim to provide comfort on those travel days. To make the trip easier and more enjoyable, consider packing these items:
- Water/ Food Bowl
- Your dog’s regular food
- Protective clothing
- Dog-friendly insect repellent and sunscreen
- Poop Bags
- Collar and leash
- Blanket and dog towel
- Medical records
- Grooming supplies
- Dog Bed
- Favorite chew toy
Of course, never forget to bring an ample amount of water. Dogs may become dehydrated on long trips, so provide them access to drinking water. You can invest in a non-spill travel water bowl that is perfect for road trips.
Ensure Your Dog Is Microchipped
Microchips are small electronic chips that are implanted between the shoulders of your dog by a veterinarian. It contains the pet’s registration number along with the owner’s name and contact information.
It is a sad reality, but pet does become separated from their owner in the middle of a trip.
The good news is with a microchip, finding them can be much easier. Veterinary clinics and animal shelters can scan this and can contact you right away.
If you have already gotten your dog a microchip, regularly update your dog’s information especially before traveling. Also, bring a recent photo of your dog in case it gets lost.
Bring Your Pet’s Documents
If you’re crossing state lines, make sure that you secure all the necessary documentation for your dog. For some area, they require a certificate of good health for your pet. You can get this from your veterinary hospital.
Consider taking along some of these:
- Rabies vaccinations records
- Health issues records
- Prescription to medications
- Medical insurance information
Prepare Your Dog’s First-aid Kit
Dog care at its finest, a first-aid kit can help you act quickly in case of accidents and illness, but it is also important that you know exactly how to use these items.
- Absorbent gauze pads
- Adhesive tape
- Cotton balls or swabs
- A towel
- A compact thermal blanket
- Disposable gloves
- Scissors with a blunt end
- Styptic powder
- Alcohol wipes
- Three-percent hydrogen peroxide for cleansing
- Small flashlight
- First-aid manual for pets
- A list of emergency numbers including your veterinarian and animal emergency clinics
Regularly update your kit to make sure nothing has expired or needs to be replaced.
Secure Your Dog For Safety
A fun trip is a safe trip. To practice this, use a good quality harness, crates, and booster seat. It is crucial that your dog will not be ejected easily in case of accidents or obtain minor injuries from sudden stops.
Even more importantly, keep your dogs out of the front seat and don’t let them stick their head or any body parts out the window. Remember, it’s too easy for a dog to jump or fall out of the vehicle. High-speed winds can be harmful as well to your dog’s eyes and ears.
But wait there’s more. If you’re hitting the road for a long trip, ensure that your car is in tip-top shape. It will ease your mind of worry and will help you enjoy your trip. In case your car is in not exactly at an optimal level, consider getting yourself and your family a new one. No worries, you can finance from auto-loan.
Keep Things As Familiar As Possible
Know that it’s important to bring your dog’s bedding, blankets, treats and toys on your trip as they ease their mind and provide them with a sense of familiarity. They also help your dog feel safe, and reduce the stress of long trips.
Keep Your Dog Distracted And Happy
A bored and anxious dog is never a good traveling companion. Put an effort to ensure your dog is happy and comfortable during the trip. The golden rule is to give them their favorite chew toy.
Plan Your Stops
If they are getting restless, doing a regular pit stops is the key. If you are in for a long trip, plan your stops around your dog’s needs and antics. Most of them love to stretch their legs from time to time, drink an ample amount of water and get some fresh air. Plus, you and your dog need toilet breaks.
Thus, if you’re making pit stops, always look for an area with a large space and a nice bathroom. Even better, map your stops at locations with pet-friendly attractions.
Get A Weather Report
Great adventures need good weather. Being stranded mid-trip in bad weather like floods, hurricanes or tornadoes is bad, especially if you have your dog inside your car. Hot temperature also causes a lot of problems, so better take the weather forecast into consideration when planning the route of your journey.
It is also crucial to not leave your dog in the car alone on cold or hot days. More importantly, bring cooling mats and other cooling technologies out there to help your dog deal with the heat.