Spring is right around the corner, and many people use the time to enjoy a nice trip away from home, packing up the kids and dog for a trip to another state or city. Dogs can definitely be great travel companions, but you have to make sure you prepare in advance so they can be healthy and happy during the trip. Here are some simple tips that can help you avoid trouble on the road.
1. Make a plan for food and water.
You probably stock up on plenty of road trip munchies for yourself and your other human passengers. Don't relax your rule about feeding your dog people food even though you'll be in the car. Too much rich people food can make your dog queasy, especially when combined with the motion of the car. Instead, plan for frequent stops so your dog can enjoy his regular food. You should also bring a water dish and extra bottles of water so your dog can get enough to drink. Dehydration is a big concern on road trips, and it can be a medical emergency, and it can make motion sickness worse in some animals.
2. Bring your dog's familiar crate or kennel.
When packing up the luggage and hear for your trip, make room for your dog's crate. This crate is home away from home and will help him feel secure. It's safer to transport your dog in a plastic travel crate that is secured properly in the vehicle. A loose dog can be a distraction for the driver and will get injured worse if you should get into a car accident. If your dog hates to be kenneled during travel, practice for the trip by taking the kennel on short drives in the weeks leading up to the trip. If your dog associates riding in the car with being in his crate, you'll have fewer problems with long-distance travel.
Dogs who have not practiced are more likely to be sick or get anxiety during trips, leading to trouble with going to the bathroom or aggressive behaviors.
3. Research a vet
You want to have someone you can go to when you are traveling or when you get to your destination. Some animal hospital offices only accept local dogs, and others might be closed on holidays. You want to make sure that if your dog is injured or becomes ill when you're away from your usual vet office that you have a plan in place. Ask your local vet if they have any recommendations.
For more information on safely traveling with your dog this warm season, contact a local animal hospital.