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Furry companions often become just as important to us as our closest friends or members of our family. It’s no surprise going on a road trip with man’s best friend can be an exciting adventure for you both.
That being said, canine travel companions have special needs when on the road. To make your road trip a grand adventure for you both, here are five tips for bringing your dog on a road trip:
1. Check in with your vet first
Not only will you want to ensure that all of your dog’s regular immunizations are up-to-date but your vet may recommend other immunizations that may not be necessary where you currently live. For instance, if you are travelling to a hot, humid area, your vet may recommend you get your dog vaccinated for Lyme disease. Travelling can potentially expose your dog to a number of threats not present where you currently live, so make sure you are adequately prepared.
2. Make sure you can find them if they get lost
Make sure your dog is wearing tags with a current phone number and if they do not already have a microchip, this would be a very good time to get one. A microchip only helps if your lost dog is found, however, which could potentially be several weeks after you need to return home. A GPS tracker, however, can help you find your dog immediately if it gets loose or wanders away. The more bases you cover, the more likely you are to have your dog returned to you quickly and safely if it wanders off.
3. Pack appropriately
Your dog will need certain supplies while you are on the road, just like you will. Dogs can get motion sickness just like people, so be sure you know the signs and symptoms and how to treat it. When travelling, your dog is more likely to roll in something nasty or get dirty and muddy so be sure and pack bottles of dog shampoo and conditioner. Also, be sure and pack some toys, food and water bowls, and maybe bring a blanket or two from home. If they are crate trained, you can bring a travel crate. If they don’t normally sleep on the bed, consider bringing their dog bed along for the trip.
4. Be sure they are allowed wherever you are staying
Some hotels are pet-friendly, but many are not. If you are camping, you will want to make sure you know what the local rules and regulations are on dogs. Be sure and check in with every place you are staying before you leave to make sure you have a trouble-free trip.
5. Make a plan to secure your dog
Dogs can get injured in an automobile accident just like humans. In addition, you don’t want your dog to run out chasing something the second you open the door or suddenly jump into the driver’s lap. One way to prevent this is to run a seat belt through a restraining harness specially designed for dogs. That way they can stand or sit, but can’t jump into the front and will be held safely in place if you need to brake suddenly.
Going on a road trip with your dog can be a grand adventure but it can just as easily go bad if you don’t plan properly. The more advance prep you do, the more likely your trip is to go off without a single hitch. Your furry friend will thank you!