The hectic and stressful city life calls for many to pack their bags and head for a vacation. Nowadays, more and more pet owners are opting to take their pets along with them. Dogs make great travelling companions, but for a lot of dogs and owners, long journeys are stressful; not every pet enjoys long hours in a car. Planning in advance helps make the journey easier for the dog and owner.
The following tips below ensure both you and your pet a safe and comfortable journey:
You could consider ‘crating’ (a travel-crate for pets) your dog on a long journey – it is safer for him. Put his blanket and a couple of toys inside to make him comfortable. If your dog must ride loose or without a crate, consider confining him with a restraint or harness. Not only does this make sure that he cannot jump about and distract the driver, but it also prevents him from being thrown forward in case the car stops suddenly.
Like kids, dogs are susceptible to car-sickness; consult your vet for travelling pills. To help keep the tummy settled, avoid feeding your dog about six hours before the journey.
Pets are less likely to get carsick when they can see the passing scenery, so try to give your dog a window seat; opening the window and letting in fresh air will also help. However, don’t let your dog hang his head out of the window – small particles of dirt can fly into his eyes and hurt him, when the car is speeding.
Plan on stopping every two hours to give your dog a break. Keep your dog on a leash to prevent him from straying onto a busy highway. Give your dog plenty of water to drink at every stop and allow him a chance to stretch his legs. On hot days, it is recommended that you take rest stops every two hours.
When stopping, make sure you park in the shade; even on cool days the inside of a parked car can get uncomfortably hot. NEVER leave your dog in a parked car for more than a couple of minutes. If you have to leave your pet in the car, while you go to the bathroom, park in a shady spot, preferably where a breeze blows through the windows. But even then, don’t stay away for more than a few minutes.
Make sure your dog wears an identification tag with his and your details on it. In case he gets lost, it will help get him back to you.
Bowser’s Back Pack! – What You Should Take Along
- Extra collar and leash
- Dog identification tags
- Treats and toys
- Dog food, take extra in case you run out early
- Cleaning supplies like tissue paper and newspaper
- Copy of your rabies vaccination certificate
- Any medication your dog is currently on.
- Medicine for upset tummy and painkiller for injury and basic First Aid Kit
- Bottle of water
- Your vet’s telephone number
- A photograph of your pet (in case he gets lost)