Soon it will be time for summer family vacations. Though some people board their pets at this time, our dog is part of our family and goes with us. Are you ready to hit the road with your dog? Haven’t done so before and wondering how, what, and why. Here are a few road tips we use that work.
Traveling with man’s best friend can make hours in the car fly by. But don’t set out for your trip unprepared. To make sure it’s an enjoyable experience for both you and your dog, plan out a schedule of pit stops and pack your pet’s essentials, such as food, water, snacks, a couple of toys, and blanket. Be prepared to take breaks, and pay attention to how your dog is feeling along the way.
Check helpful websites like bringfido.com and gopetfriendly.com to find pet and people friendly spots for getting some fresh air and stretching legs. Many combine a smaller doggie park with a coffee shop and gas station. Both you and your dog can get some exercise, you can get a snack or drink, and tap off the gas tank all in one stop. Remember to feed and water your dog at this time as well. It’s a good idea though to plan bathroom, feeding, and exercise breaks around your pet’s normal schedule as much as possible. Pay attention to how your pet is feeling during the trip. If he or she seems antsy, then it might be time to pull over for a few minutes. Usually any uneasiness wears off with time and with the more trips taken.
Dog’s sense of smell is nearly 40 times more powerful than humans, so it’s no wonder they love to hang their head out the window. They are taking in a lot of new scents. But flying debris poses a risk to dogs’ ears and eyes. Restrict window time to areas with lower seeds, 40 mph or less. Don’t take a chance with your dog’s head hanging out the window going 70 mph on the highway.
For their own safety, dogs need to ride in the rear of the car and be buckled with a seat belt, just like a child. If your dog uses a crate at home, then crating him or her in the car works well too. This won’t make the ride any less fun. Put a familiar blanket in their assigned seat, and pack their favorite toys for a comfortable ride.
Make sure your destination is pet-friendly and have a great vacation with all your family.