When you adopt a dog, it becomes an essential part of the family.
So naturally, when you’re planning any road trip, you don’t want to leave behind your canine friend. After all, they are the most loyal and greatest human companions.
However, road trips can be exhausting, and when you have a pet to look after, you have to do some extra planning and preparation to ensure you have all the things you need when travelling with your dog.
Taking care of some essential guidelines will ensure that you enjoy a stress-free and relaxing journey. Here are 14 tips for things you need to keep in mind when travelling with your dog by car.
1. Safety comes first
When travelling with your dogs, it’s imperative to create dedicated space in the car for them. Not only will it ensure a safe trip but it will also make your pet more comfortable and easy.
For this purpose, you can use a crate or carrier, a pet car seat or a pet seat belt in the car. Also, the carrier should be large enough so that the Dog can move around freely in it.
2. Go for a test drive
Before you embark on the journey, take your dog on a test drive. See how the pet responds to the trip. If the dog gets car sick or anxious, then you have to plan accordingly.
3. Keep the dog engaged
Even dogs can get bored and exhausted on long road trips. To make the journey comfortable for your dog, bring along something for the dog’s entertainment.
You can carry chew toys and fun treats to keep them engaged and occupied.
4. Feed the pets early
Feed your pets at least three to four hours before departure, as it can prevent any car sickness or other problems for your pet.
Moreover, the meals should be light so that the dog doesn’t feel heavy or nauseous in a moving car.
5. Never leave the pet alone
Leaving a pet alone in a parked vehicle is a huge mistake and neglectful to boot. Vehicles can become super-heated in no time during hot days.
Your pet can develop heat stroke and die. The temperature inside a car on hot days is much higher than the outside so take extra care and never leave your pet in the car.
6. Take regular breaks
Regular breaks are not only essential for your own rest but also for the pet. Short breaks and stops will allow the dog to stretch, relax and play and also become familiar with the surroundings.
7. Don’t let pets stick their heads out
When travelling with your dog in the car, never let the dogs stick their heads out of the windows. It can lead to injuries from flying objects. Plus, high-speed winds can cause harm to their eyes and ears.
There have also been incidents of pets flying out moving cars. Keeping the dog restrained is also crucial for your safety as an unrestrained dog can distract you easily while driving.
8. Make a pet-friendly travel kit
Wondering what to bring when travelling with your dog? Create a pet travel kit and carry all the essential items in it such as:
• Pet food
• First aid kit
• Food and water bowls
• Vaccination record
• Waste bags
• Dog bed and blankets
9. ID tags and microchips
Consider getting your dog microchipped before going on a road trip. The chip contains all the identification information of the pets in case they go missing.
Similarly, collar tags with the latest and updated information about the dog should be there.
10. Hydration is important
During long trips, your pet can become exhausted and dehydrated quickly therefore always keep a good supply of water at hand.
11. Vaccination Records and Documents
If you are travelling between states, it’s necessary to carry all of your dog’s vaccination records.
Other than vaccination records, there are some documents that you might need to take to be on the safe side such as pet licenses and proof of ownership.
Some states require a pet’s license, so it’s advisable to carry one.
12. Take your dog for a check-up
Before travelling, it’s essential to take your dog for a checkup with the vet.
The check-up is necessary to ensure that the vaccinations are up-to-date, the dog is generally in a good health condition, the prescriptions are new, and the dog is free of any flea or tick infections.
13. Plan for any emergency
While travelling, there’s always a chance for emergencies. Keep yourself well-informed about the route and the area you are travelling to.
Be aware of the closest vet clinics and keep their contact numbers in your phone.
14. Use Apps
There are some useful apps that assist you while you travel with a dog. BringFido is an app that lets you find dog-friendly accommodations, parks, and other destinations.
Another cool app is the Dog Park Finder which searches for nearby pet-friendly parks based on your location.
Proper planning is vital whenever you are travelling somewhere, and it becomes all the more important when you have a pet accompanying you.
So, never be complacent when travelling with your dog for the first time and enjoy safely travel with your dog.