Dogs and travel go together hand in hand. They are naturally curious, and they want to be with their human family members. However, there are some things to consider before embarking on a long road trip with your pooch. Here are four tips to make traveling with your dog safe and easy.
Pack Some Familiar Comfort
Your furry friend will likely be more than happy to travel with you to smell the things you are seeing, but at the end of the day, favorite foods, treats, toys and his blanket or bed provide familiar comfort. Understand that dogs are experts at overdoing things. They will likely be even more hyper aware during travel. Familiar things are helpful in minimizing stress as not every dog is an adventurer. Speaking of comfort, be sure that where you pet rides is comfortable as far as air temperature goes too.
Take Some Short Trips First
Some dogs take to vehicle travel like Labs to water. However, not every dog does well tooling down the road at highway speeds. It is possible to find that the first scenic, but curvy, road may be just enough to get Rover to empty his stomach contents on your car’s upholstery. Take several short trips on terrain you expect to travel before committing to that long-distance adventure together. A long walk before a car ride will help your dog be less excited and more likely to take a nap when in the car too.
Get Veterinarian Information for Your Entire Route
If you should fall ill along your trip, it would not be hard to find a nearby emergency room or urgent care clinic to get medical help. However, the number of 24-hour veterinary medical facilities is limited. You should compile a list of veterinarians and veterinary medical facilities all along your route. Look for vets like the Seattle Emergency Veterinary Hospital and similar businesses along your intended route of travel to ask about extended hours of operation or places that are open around the clock to provide emergency care if your dog should need it. Print out the information and keep it accessible as you travel
Outfit Your Vehicle for Pet Travel
The safest way for your pet to travel in a vehicle is in the back seat. Your dog should be connected to safety belt using a harness (not collar) and seatbelt tether. A seat cover made for pets is a good idea too as it will keep muddy paw prints, hair and other stuff off the upholstery. There are also barriers made that will separate the back seat from the front to keep your pet contained in the safest area in the vehicle for him.
Your dog should already be microchipped and have the dog license issued for where you live. Microchipped dogs are more likely to be returned if they get lost. Finally, keep in mind that even though your dog may be highly reliable off-leash at home, this may not apply when traveling. The best choice is to keep leashes and tethers of different sizes to use on your trip.