Whether traveling across town or across country, there are many considerations that must be made when your dog is in tow. Here are some tips for traveling with your dog to ensure the safety and well-being of your pet.
Your number one priority should be safety. You can maximize your dog’s safety in the following ways.
Use a Crate or Seat-Belt
When dogs are allowed free reign in a vehicle they pose a risk to both the driver and themselves. Minimizing the dog’s ability to move about freely will drastically reduce the potential for car accidents due to distracted driving.
Additionally, your dog will be less likely to suffer serious injury in case of a car accident when mobility is limited. Even at low speeds, loose dogs can suffer life-threatening injuries in car accidents. Crates and seat belts also prevent the dog from bolting from the scene of an accident.
Keep Windows Closed
Although many dogs love to hang their heads out car windows, this practice is dangerous. Every year, veterinarians treat serious injuries in dogs caused by rocks, road debris, or low-hanging tree branches sustained when heads are outside the vehicle. In addition, dogs may jump from car windows to chase other animals or pedestrians, which can also cause serious trauma.
Pack a First Aid Kit
Never travel without a first aid kit for your pet. A canine first aid kit should contain bandages, antibacterial ointment, gauze, scissors, tweezers, latex gloves, a blanket, tape, and hydrogen peroxide, among other items.
Keep Vet Records Handy
In case of an emergency you should have your dog’s veterinary records handy, particularly proof of vaccines. Make copies of your dog’s veterinary information before travel and place these papers in an easy-to-find envelope in the car’s glove box. Also make sure to research veterinarians near your destination so that you are fully prepared in case of emergency.
Preventing Travel Anxiety
Many dogs suffer from travel anxiety. Listed here are ways to prevent car anxiety.
Do a Trial Run
Before you embark on your journey make sure your dog is familiar with every step of the process. Never put your dog in a crate or seat belt for the first time on the day of your trip, which can increase anxious behavior. Instead, start by taking short trips around the neighborhood and providing your dog with positive praise.
Make Use of Supplements
Supplements can promote calmness in your pet. For instance, WINPRO Focus is specifically formulated to calm your dog during times of stress. A combination of amino acids and WINPRO’s proprietary K-THRIVE Formula D reduce the negative effects of inflammation on the nervous system. The result of WINPRO Focus is a calmer, more focused dog.
During your trip, be sure to provide your dog with plenty of distractions in order to avoid boredom and attention-seeking behavior. Peanut butter-filled interactive toys are an excellent choice, as well as large chew toys. Avoid any bone or toy that requires close supervision or anything that poses a choking hazard to your pet.
Packing for your Trip
Finally, how you pack for your trip can be the difference between an enjoyable and stressful vacation. For a stress-free trip with your pet:
Pre-Portion Your Dog’s Food
When you are feeding your dog on-the-go, convenience is key. Pre-portion your dog’s food into plastic baggies or reusable containers. Place your dog’s food for the day in a purse or travel bag so that you do not have to search for the kibble container at meal time.
Pack Two of Everything
You never want to be miles from the nearest pet store only to realize your dog has chewed through the only leash or harness that you packed. To be on the safe side, pack two of each of your dog’s essential items.
Think Ahead about Medications and Preventatives
Before embarking on your trip, take an inventory of your dog’s medical and preventative schedule. Make sure to pack any upcoming heartworm or flea preventatives to ensure your dog stays on schedule.
Pack Your Own Water
Water quality varies by state and location. And water quality is not the same. When traveling, it’s always a good idea to bring along plenty of water your dog is used to drinking. Sudden changes in water can create gastric issues and other messy problems. Also, be sure to travel with a stainless steel water bowl because it won’t break and it’s easier to keep clean and sanitary. Same for food bowls.
Remind Your Dog of Home
Bringing along your dog’s favorite toy, pillow or blanket will help comfort your dog and remind it of home. Plus it will just travel better and it might help your dog sleep on the trip which is soothing for both dog and driver.