Some people avoid traveling with their dogs, believing it to be too much trouble or safety concern to be worth too much effort.
However, you’re probably not aware of dog travel tips such as the ones here to help you get around misgivings!
In truth, if you keep a few basic pointers in mind, traveling with your dog can be an incredibly fun and still safe experience, where you don’t have to drop your beloved pup off at a sitter’s or a kennel. You can even do so while your furry best friend is still a pup.
When traveling with your dog, you have to plan well ahead, keeping in mind all the essentials such as general safety and security in the vehicle, scheduling appropriately timed pit-stops, stocking food, snacks, and medical aid, taking care of documentation, if any, and so forth.
Let’s run through some basic and handy dog travel tips that will help you plan a safe and smooth trip that is fun for you as well as your dog.
1. Securing for the Ride
This is, of course, one of the most important things to ensure before you set out anywhere with your dog.
Giving sedatives or other calming medication to your dog is generally not recommended, considering possible side-effects and also the unpleasant experience for the dog.
Having the right means to harness, seat belt, or crate your dog comfortably and safely whenever you might need it is crucial to be prepared for most situations.
If crating your dog isn’t your ideal for you, using dog car seat covers with padding is the most comfortable and secure way to go. Make sure you have the right kind of seat covers for your dog, and that it’s roomy and comfortable enough for him or her to sit, lie down and move around a bit.
Make sure your dog is already used to sitting in the back seat, instead of gambling on good behavior over the trip. Here are some tips to get him or her ready for spending time comfortably in the back seat:
- Some exercise before traveling sees that they’re not too restless inside the car
- Leash your dog with the car seat belt, as it can be helpful from moving around
- Keep some snacks or a chew toy to keep your pup occupied
- Don’t act in a manner that presenting the dog car seat covers in a negative – don’t show sympathy or sadness, but remain upbeat and positive to calm your dog and show him that’s all his space to relax.
2. Keep Your Best Friend Well Fed
Your dog should ideally not eat anything for up to 6 hours before the trip so there isn’t trouble with potty breaks in between.
Feeding your dog before the trip could messy situations later, for a lot of dogs are prone to motion sickness, and could experience nausea during the ride.
The best mid-trip snacks are small treats that are high in protein that you can feed your dog to stave off hunger until a long pit stop. Don’t forget to bring your dog water bottle! It’s important to keep him hydrated.
3. Necessary Information, Just-In-Case
Having a radio tag in the collar, or a normal tag with all necessary information such as your phone number, address, destination, etc. can be quite a lifesaver in emergencies.
This is one of the dog travel tips that are unusually unpopular, even though it’s important and doesn’t even take very long. Don’t neglect it!
4. Calming the Dog During the Trip
Does your dog get too feisty or upset on a ride? Familiarize the experience!
Take your dog on short trips in the car before traveling, as suggested earlier, to make the car and the motion familiar.
Keep your pup’s favorite toy, blankets, or other objects – as long as they’re not hazards – nearby or in the crate so they have a calming effect.
Plan pit-stops when on a long ride for every few hours so that your dog can feed, take a quick potty break, and generally stretch out a bit.
5. Checkup on Rules and Documentation
Did you check with the hotel you’re staying at whether they allow dogs to stay with guests?
If you’re traveling abroad or crossing any borders, make sure you have the right health certificates or other documentation for your dog, if needed, and plan in advance in case you need to send them ahead of you.
We hope you found these dog travel tips handy when planning your travels. Do you have any others of your own that you find useful? Do share them with us, and any other thoughts you may have in the comments section here!