It is estimated that 70 percent of people take their pets with them when they travel. If you plan on hitting the road with your dog, then there are several things that you need to do in order to prepare. Taking the time to properly prepare will keep your dog safe, healthy and happy throughout the trip.
Take your dog to the Vet
If your dog has not had a check-up this year, then you should definitely consider taking him or her to the vet before the road trip. Your veterinarian will not only give your dog a checkup, but they may also recommend vaccinations. Additionally, your vet can microchip your dog. It is also a good idea to look up emergency vet services along your route. Emergencies can occur at any time, so it is important to prepare.
Pack the Right Necessities
There are a number of pet products that you will need to pack in your vehicle. This includes a first aid kit, identification tags, poop bags, bottled water, medications, toys, bedding, food and treats. It is also a good idea to bring a copy of your pet’s medical records.
Take Regular Breaks
Even though many dogs love car rides, it is important for you to take regular breaks. It is a good idea to take a 30 minute break every four hours. This will give your dog an opportunity to use the bathroom, stretch and walk around. You will need to make sure that there are plenty of dog-friendly rest stops on your route. Additionally, you should try to feed your dog around the same time each day.
Use a Crash-Tested Crate
The safest way for your dog to travel in a car is inside of a crate. You will need to choose a crate that is crash-tested and safety-certified. You will also need to select one that is the appropriate size. You can put crash bags inside of the crate in order to make travel safer for your dog. This will provide your dog with additional protection if you happen to get into an accident. It’s also a very good idea to spend some time training your dog with the crate so that they’re used to it before your trip.
Taking a road trip with a dog can be a fun and rewarding experience. It can give you the chance to give your dog a special treat in the form of a car ride, and a variety of new sights and smells. It’s understandable to be nervous if this is your first time taking your dog on a longer drive, but that shouldn’t hold you back from giving it a try. Just remember to watch your animal for signs of stress or discomfort, remember the tips listed here, and enjoy your bonding moment with your beloved pet. When you’ve done it once, you may find that before long both you and your dog are itching to hit the road again.
About the Author: Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from West Jordan, Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah and enjoys writing and spending time with her dog, Max. Kara works with the Seattle Emergency Veterinary Hospital to raise awareness of good pet health practices.