Whether you’re planning to hang out with the moose in Maine, pet Hemingway’s cats in Florida, or see the armadillos and scorpions out west, there’s nothing more fun than a road trip with your dog.
The key to a fun, and safe, road trip is being prepared. Here are some tips on having a safe, and spectacular, road trip with your dog:
Here is the most important advice overall: you must plan ahead. If you’re traveling with a dog, it’s smart to plan your route. Make sure that wherever you go you can choose dog-friendly accommodations. Go online and research dog-friendly establishments and in each location you plan to visit.
Packing everything your dog might need is key to having a safe and stress-free trip. Bring a water bowl, and if space is limited think about purchasing a collapsible one. Those can be super handy if you plan on going on long walks or hiking during your vacation.
Remember to bring any medications your dog might need. You may also need his medical records, especially if he has any health issues. Your local vet may know your dog’s health history inside and out, an out-of-town vet won’t. if your dog ends up needing medical attention in a strange town, medical records will help the vet address every possible concern.
Bring brushes, doggie shampoo, and an extra towel for your dog. You never know what kind of mess he could get into. You might want to bring a dog bed and blankets, too. Bring toys for him to play with, and also to comfort him. If your pup has anxiety issues you may want to think twice about bringing him along. If you do, talk to your vet about how you help your pup cope with his fears.
Visit the Vet
Make sure your pup is up to date on all his vaccinations. Even if he is, you might want to take him to see the vet just for a checkup before you set off on your trip. This is also a good chance to get a copy of your dog’s medical records. Plus, the vet may have some recommendations to keep in mind based on your dog’s health history.
Bring Along a Crate
Just like people, dogs should be restrained while traveling in a vehicle. If you are involved in a car accident, a loose dog can be severely injured. They also present a major hazard to your safety while roaming free in your vehicle.
The safest way to travel with your pup is to put him in a crate that’s been certified as safe for use in vehicles. A crate also serves as a comforting, familiar place for your dog to sleep. Additionally, whether you are sleeping in a tent, a friend’s house, or a hotel, your pup will feel secure in his crate.
When traveling, there’s always a chance that your dog could get lost – especially in an unfamiliar place. Make sure your dog’s identification is updated with your current contact information. You might also want to think about adding a friend’s phone number who lives in the area you will be traveling to. It’s also smart to bring along a current picture of your dog in case he gets lost.
When traveling with your dog, the most important point to remember is that you must think ahead. You should find a place for your dog every minute of every day, make sure he gets enough exercise to keep him sane, and plan for worst-case scenarios like health crises. If you’re prepared, you really have nothing to worry about!