13 Nov 2018 5 Dog Car Travel Tips to Help Your Family Be Prepared on the Road
You may not realize it but to a dog – you are its entire world. A dog’s life revolves around you, whether you like it or not. The way it waits on your every command, longing for belly rubs, trying to be good to get earn those treats, and most especially, an all-time favorite – getting excited about a trip.
If you’ve been traveling with your furry companions for years, you probably know that car travel can make a dog queasy, frightened, or traumatized for life. In case you haven’t realized, a dog’s memory is arguably good (even better than some humans). One bad encounter can be ingrained in a dog’s memory for life and you may have to spend years erasing it. It’s essentially important to make the car travel a breeze – from start to end.
So before you strap that pet safety harness to your dog, check these top 5 dog car travel tips to help your family be prepared on the road.
- Plan Down to the Last Detail
First things first, choose a destination you and your pooch will enjoy. If your dog isn’t well-exercised, don’t expect it to hike for hours on end on an uphill slope. If you’re staying at a hotel, choose one that’s pet-friendly. It’s important to call pet-friendly hotels before the trip instead of scrambling to find one on the day you arrive. You don’t want to end up sleeping in your car, do you?
And while you’re at it, call your vet and ask if your dog needs to take certain medications and vaccinations. Don’t forget to bring your dog’s medical records as it might come in handy.
- Pack Like a Dog
If you were a dog, what would you need for the trip? This is how you should pack. Don’t pack for yourself only but bring all the essentials and most especially – a dog first-aid kit.
- Pet safety harness/car crate
- Water bowl
- Dog water bottle
- Favorite toys
- Waste poop bags
- Adequate dog food
- Sterile saline eye wash in case something gets caught in its eyes
- Styptic powder to staunch bleeding from cuts
- 3% Hydrogen peroxide to cleanse wounds and induce vomiting
- Non-adhesive sterile pads
- Medications (if advised by vet)
- Contact numbers of your vet and vet clinics nearby
- Don’t Feed Your Dogs Before the Trip
This is the golden rule for dogs and humans when embarking on a long drive – don’t ever eat a heavy meal a couple of minutes before the trip. That goes without saying, don’t make them too water-logged before the trip as well. Instead, feed them at least 3 to 4 hours before the trip. Dogs suffer from motion sickness too; they just can’t tell their humans how they feel. You may want to look out for telltale signs of motion sickness like whining, yelping, vomiting, drooling, yawning, or restlessness. Also, stop frequently for your dog’s number two or number three.
- Buckle Your Dog Up
You want the whole trip to be safe and enjoyable for both you and your pooches. Any mishap can occur if you’re not being careful like not restraining your dog with a pet safety harness. I know how happy they look when they stick their heads out the window with tongues lolling out while the wind gushes into their faces. The smell of freedom – but not within limits of safety. Make sure they’re restrained so they don’t crash onto the front passenger seat when you hit on the brakes hard. You also don’t want any distractions from them when driving.
In addition, your dogs should be comfortable during the entire trip. Give them their favorite toys and if it helps, try slathering a bit of lavender oil on your palms and massage your dog’s spine and head. This can keep them calm and relaxed.
- Don’t Forget to Hydrate
Never forget to hydrate your dog all the time especially when you’re traveling under a scorching heat. Heat strokes can be dreadful. If in case this happens, a basic first-aid is to get some towels and drench it with cold water, then put it on the area around your dog’s head while giving your dog some water. Of course, call a vet for further assistance.
These are simple yet effective car travel tips for the whole family. Once you reach your destination, don’t forget to give your dogs unlimited praises and kisses for being good throughout the journey. Take your dog for a long walk and enjoy a fun-filled day!
Author Bio: Kerry Brooks, a certified pet first aid, CPR and safety instructor, frequent traveller and a passionate blogger, loves to write about pets, pet diet and pet care. She frequently blogs at qcpetsitting, which offers the best dog walking and pet sitting services in Charlotte.