Written by: Amber Kingsley
When we think about hitting the road with our four-legged best friend, we often imagine the stereotypical dog with his head sticking out the window, his tongue and ears flapping in the wind. But this is actually very dangerous, aside from the possibility of being struck by a flying object, this also puts your animal at risk for health hazardous like an upper respiratory infection.
Driving is not without risk, but it can also be very rewarding, for both you and your pet. Keep in mind these tips for when you hit the open road with your animal:
#1 – Feel the Heat
While we all know not to leave a dog alone in a hot car, not even for one minute, sometimes we forget about other sources of heat, like sidewalks and pavement. On a typical summer’s day, when the outside temperature reaches 95℉, concrete sidewalks can heat up to 125℉ and black asphalt roadways can reach a blistering 140℉. More than uncomfortable, at these temperatures your animal is at risk for a serious burn. Take a moment to feel the surface where your dog will be walking in the summertime before you take them out for a walk.
#2 – Recreation for Them
Just like searching for pet-friendly lodging, look for recreations spots to take your dog to unwind while you’re out on the road. Other than rest stops, search for other places your pet might enjoy like dog-friendly beaches, parks, even some restaurants have outdoor dining areas that allow animals. Google these destinations that are along your route and just like any other member of your family and traveling companions, your dog will enjoy some of their favorite places.
#3 – Beach Blanket Bingo
When you do stop for some time at the coast, be sure to bring a blanket and source of shade for your dog to enjoy. Along with plenty of cool, fresh drinking water, your dog needs a place of relief from the hot sand and sun. Don’t forget those dog toys.
#4 – Click It or Ticket
Just like our two-legged passengers, some states have laws requiring animals be restrained while traveling in vehicles. Some places forbid drivers from having a dog riding in their lap while behind the wheel and others can issue a citation for distracted driving involving a dog inside your car. In any event, be mindful of laws that can vary from location to location.
#5 – Events & Exercise
There’s a relatively new exercise-related dog event that’s been picking up steam lately and traveling around the country – dock diving. In case you’re unfamiliar with this growing trend, a number of different clubs and organizations take their mobile pools and docks out on the road and challenge area dogs and their owners to this competition. Usually chasing a toy and aiming for a target, these four-legged athletes are judged for distance and height while running down a dock and diving into the water.
Whether you wait until a competition comes to a city near you or hit the road for participation out of town, this is an excellent way to enjoy the great outdoors. So get mobile with you mutt and have a good time with your dog.