Safe Travel Tips for Your Dog
Can you smell it? It’s not a mirage, that’s spring in the air, which means your dog and you are through with your winter hibernation and are ready to get out for a memorial day. Whether you are headed to the nearest dog park or on a day trip to another town, safe car travel is a crucial part of the road trip. Memorial Day Travel Tips with your dog are discussed below.
Microchip and ID Tag
Before you go anywhere in the car with your pet, make sure that you have an up-to-date ID tag with your phone number, address and if there is room, your email address. In the unlikely, but possible event that his ID tag falls off, make sure that your dog is microchipped. It is done at your vet’s office and takes about 30 seconds. After the vet is finished, he or she will give you a piece of paper with a barcode, a series of numbers and an Internet address. Upload your dog’s and your information to the site, and it will correspond to the barcode that is in the microchip in his body.
We never anticipate that our dogs will be out of our presence, but it happens. Be prepared.
Start With Short Jaunts, First
If your dog is not used to traveling much by car, you will want to ease him into this. Most dogs take to car rides quickly and will hop into the car and wait for you to roll down the window so he can stick his face out and breathe in the cold air. Some dogs get carsick, and some even get a little stressed out. For your first trip, take him just a few blocks away. Don’t be so quick to press down on the accelerator and after a few blocks, bring him home and praise him. If it does well, increase the length of the car ride and the speed each time. After about a week, you should be able to get on the highway with your dog and drive the speed limit.
To Crate or Not to Crate?
Even if your dog loves the car, car rides and sitting in the back seat without a crate, it is a good idea to get him used to be in the car with a crate. While it is safe to drive on local roads with a speed limit of 25 mph or less, the highway is a different story. Higher speeds and more cars increase the possibility of accidents. It isn’t going to cooperate in a seatbelt, and so it will be necessary to crate him for some of the rides. Once you are back on country roads, let him sit in the backseat with the window down just enough to get air in, but not enough to allow his entire head to slip out. He can be hit by objects flying by or that get expelled from the vehicle in front of you. Additionally, if you were to have an accident, or you have to stop suddenly, what could just be a little jolt if his body were in the car, could end up with it being impaled if his head is outside the window.
Doggy Duffel Bag
Along with packing your clothes and toiletries, pack an extra duffel bag for your dog. Inside your duffel bag should be:
Any of its medications
An extra leash and collar
Some article of clothing with your scent on it (the further away from home you are, the more he will appreciate this)
His brush and furminator
Whatever you use to clean his ears
A stuffed animal and a deer antler or a Kong
A wallet that contains your vet’s phone number, your cell number, an emergency contact number, proof of rabies and other vaccinations and a list of any medications he takes
Water and Food
It should go without saying that we all need water and plenty of it. Offer water to the pet frequently throughout your journey. No longer at home, he won’t know what to do when he can’t find his whatever you usually keep his water in. It is best to feed it with a light meal in the morning rather than a heavy one. Even if your dog isn’t prone to car sickness, you don’t want to tempt fate by serving him a heavy meal before his big car ride. If it does throw up, you can always give him a little Dramamine – up to 2 mg three times a day.
Have fun and take lots of photos! Car rides and vacations don’t last forever; memories, however, do!
If you do not want to bring your pets with you, you may want to hire a professional pet sitter. Love and Kisses Pet Sitting is here for all your pet sitting and dog walking needs. We service all of Union County NC.