Written by: Amber Kingsley
Most dogs love nothing more than riding alongside with their masters on a good old-fashioned road trip. While the days of allowing them to stick their head out of the window are, for lack of better terms, pretty much out the window due to safety concerns. The best place for an animal travelling inside our vehicle is riding inside a crate or secured into another device that keeps them safe in the event of an accident, traversing sharp turns or coming to an abrupt stop.
Whether we’re going someplace local, like a trip to the veterinarian’s office, or on a cross country adventure, there are some things to know before taking off. Speaking of going to the vet, here’s the first of our terrific tips on making this journey more pleasant for them.
#1 – Better Vet Visits
Just as much as dogs enjoy riding in our automobiles, some are not particularly happy when this trip ends at the veterinarian’s office. But there is a way to lessen the blow about these regular visits. If your dog is a regular co-pilot on some of your local excursions, think about taking them to this office that doesn’t require them getting a shot or some other negative experience.
In other words, you could just swing by the vet’s office when you don’t have an appointment after a long walk through the parking lot or neighboring streets. Take them into the lobby on leash and give them a treat at the end of this process. This way they won’t always associate going to the doggie doctor with something unpleasant.
#2 – Pit Stop Perils
On the other hand, long distance travels can come with some unexpected surprises that many masters often overlook. One thing we do know for sure, we should plot our course with our pet in mind that includes puttings pit stops in place at rest areas, parks or other places we can take our dog out to stretch their legs and “do their business.”
Speaking of these potty breaks, while we’re responsible pet owners who clean up their animal’s waste, we can’t guarantee other people are doing the same. Domesticated pets and wildlife feces can transmit a number of different diseases so we need to be on the lookout for these droppings and keep our pets away.
#3 – Before A Bigger Journey
If your pet has not experienced a long journey, perhaps they’ve only gone on short drives and errands, you might want to work them up to greater distances over time. Try working them into your schedule when you take longer journeys before taking off on a really lengthy adventure.
If you’ll be crossing state lines or other types of boundaries, be sure to have all of your pet’s paperwork on hand. While this isn’t usually an issue, you never know when you might need this type of information when travelling. Don’t forget their microchip documentation in the unlikely event you become separated from your best friend.
#4 – Your Pet’s Travel-Ready Kit
You should always have food, a few treats and fresh water available for them inside your vehicle even if you’re only planning a short trip. You never know for sure if you’ll run into a lengthy traffic jam, have car trouble or another type of an unexpected delay.
Speaking of the unexpected, part of your pet’s travel package should also include an animal-friendly first aid kit with some of these items:
- Hydrogen peroxide and antibiotic ointment for minor cuts and scrapes
- Gauze, scissors, tape and disposable gloves
- Towels and grooming wipes in case of an “accident”
- A flashlight, again in case of the unexpected
Don’t forget your pet’s favorite blanket and toys. These familiar items will make both short and longer journeys more pleasant for them especially on those treks of many miles. Just the the popular motto of the Boy Scouts, “Be Prepared” for everything the open road could possibly throw your way and have fun out there!