TRAVEL WITH YOUR BEST FRIEND!
I don’t know about you, but the four-legged friends in my home are members of my family. I wouldn’t go anywhere without them. They’re even allowed to come to work with me. So naturally when I’m planning a summer road trip I want to be sure that I can bring my babies with me and most importantly, they are comfortable on the ride! In an effort to keep the trip as peaceful for you and the pupper or puppers, we have created a list of what you need to do and have to make the adventure an enjoyable one!
Before you hit the road…
- Check your dog’s collar, ID tag, and leash. You don’t want to have the leash or collar break while you’re traveling. Your pooch wouldn’t have any frame of reference to get back to you should they run away. It’s important to make sure that all their ID info is up to date and secured so that you can find your pup again if they do get lost.
- Get your dog familiar with the car. This will be an important step if you plan to travel with your pup often. The more you get them comfortable with the car the less likely they are to panic when you have to go places.
- Pack the perfect pet travel kit! Pack food, bottled water, plastic bowls, a blanket or sheet for makeshift bedding (and to limit shedding on your backseat), disposal baggies for rest stop waste, and old washcloths or baby wipes to clean your dog’s feet in case they feel the need to splash in roadside puddles. Protip: They 100% will play in puddles and splash around in mud, so just be emotionally prepared.
- Call ahead or research the rules and policies associated with pets at your destination. Make sure the places you plan to go are pet friendly. It would totally stink to get to your destination only to find out that pets are not allowed!
While driving with your dog…
- Don’t let them roam free in the vehicle. You wouldn’t let your small children ride in the car without a seatbelt, so the same logic should apply to your furry children. At only 35 mph with some emergency braking your pup is at risk of flying through the car and hurting himself, you or your passengers! There are, however, several options to keep your pup safe including carrier crate, in a special harness, in a booster seat, or in the back of an SUV with a mesh barrier.
- Stop often for bathroom and exercise breaks. If you’re going on a long road trip, your puppy potty breaks and stretch breaks should be often. You might be able to handle a long stretch of driving, but your pups can’t. Let them out to go to the bathroom, sniff and explore! After all, traveling is all about new experiences!
- Keep their food intake to a minimum. Keep your pup hydrated, but maybe not kibbled up. I promise you, cleaning up after a motion sick puppy is not an ideal road trip situation.
Don’t leave them alone in a hot car!!! You wouldn’t want to sit in a car with no air flow in the hot sun, and neither does your pup. Aside from it being cruel, it’s also illegal and very dangerous! Please don’t leave your pups in the car.
When you reach your destination…
- Do not leave your dog unattended ,at least not for long stretches of time. Bear in mind that your pup is in an unfamiliar place with unfamiliar smells and if they can’t see you they might panic and could even end up damaging property that is not yours.
- Read up on great dog spots! Find all the cool places in the area that are dog friendly. You and your pup will be sure to enjoy the trip when you get to do things you both enjoy!
- Make it a great experience for you, your dog, and the hotel. One bad experience with a pet could cause hotel management to change their policy about pets. Don’t ruin things for other pet owners. Do your best to keep your dog calm and leave your room in great condition.