So, you’re planning a road trip with your significant other or a group of friends and you want to bring your dog along? Before you hit the road, here are a few things you should keep in mind as you travel with your dog.
Health and Safety First
Prior to taking your dog on the road with you, make sure he’s ready for the trip. This means making sure he is in good health, is up to date with vaccinations and doesn’t have any serious impediments to traveling. For example, if he’s just been neutered, think twice before bringing him on a road trip. He may be sensitive or weak for the next few days, and having an unwell dog on a trip can make things a lot harder than it needs to be.
Keep your dog healthy and happy on the trip by bringing along a supply of his regular food, as well as bottled water you can easily access anytime. Don’t forget to bring a travel-friendly bowl so your dog can eat out of it comfortably. Bringing along food or snacks is important, because if your dog is hungry and you have no food for him, he may whine — and that’s no fun for anyone.
In addition to preparing a supply of food or snacks, exercise your dog before he gets in the car to avoid pent up excitement. If you’re concerned your dog might get motion sickness and throw up, don’t feed him right before the ride. Instead, keep small snacks on hand in case he gets hungry, but keep the feeding to a minimum unless you’re at a pit stop and your dog is able to relieve himself in a safe space.
Crates and ID, Please
Unless your dog is extremely tame and well behaved while riding in cars, using a crate is a great way to travel with him. This will give him a designated space to himself and also free you from any additional distractions on the road. Make sure the crate is large enough for your dog to stand, turn and lie down comfortably. Additionally, bring your dog’s favorite toy or a nice bone so they will have something to occupy them during the long ride.
Based on your dog’s specific temperament, decide for yourself whether using a crate is the best option for you. If you don’t have room in your cart for a big enough crate or if someone can watch over your dog as he roams about freely, a crate may not be necessary. Just remember there are different state-by-state laws pertaining to traveling with pets, so make sure to educate yourself before hitting the open road.
You never know what can happen on the road, so it’s imperative your dog has an identification tag on him at all times. This way, if your dog gets away from you during your trip (heaven forbid), you’ll increase the chances of recovery by making sure he can be properly identified. Make sure your dog has a collar with his name, your name and your phone number.
Again, you can decrease the chances of your dog getting away by properly exercising him before the trip and making frequent stops so your dog can stretch his legs and relieve himself.
If you take the proper precautions, traveling with your dog will be an easy and enjoyable experience. Just be sure to follow the law in the areas in which you’re traveling. Take the necessary steps to keep your dog happy, healthy and comfortable during the trip and enjoy the open road together.