10 tips for traveling with your dog

If you’re not very well prepared or organized traveling with your dog can be stressful or even dangerous.

Here are 10 tips for traveling with your dog.  If you take the time to consider each of these ahead of the trip, you’ll find you will enjoy a much smoother, stress-free journey.

1. Make sure your dog is safely secured in the back of the carDon’t leave him lose.  He may be very well-behaved when all is well, but if he is suddenly startled is distracted by a dog on the side-walk or in another car there is a danger he could land on your lap and greatly jeopardize your driving safety.

Another reason for making sure he is secured is, if you do have a collision, you want to make sure that he is not going to be injured by being thrown against the windshield or the back of your head!

2. Make sure you are equipped with a pet first aid kit.  You hope you won’t need it of course, but it’s worth taking just in case.  Include in it a copy of your dog’s medical records.

3. This one may seem obvious but when in the middle of the commotion that can accompany a departure it can be forgottenBe sure to take your own dog food and a supply of water with a bowl.

4. Take extra water in case of a breakdown or traffic delays especially in hot weather.

5. Be sure the windows in the back are open enough to allow fresh air into the car, especially when the weather is hot, but make sure the windows are not too wide open.  You really don’t want to take the chance of your dog giving into the temptation of jumping out of a moving car!

6. Take a chew, or his favorite toy to give him or something to do as well as comfort him on the journey.

7. Make sure he has a comfortable place to lie down in the back, a cushion and blanket for example.

8. Stop regularly for toilet breaks and leg-stretching.

9. Give your dog a good, long walk before putting him into the car.  Giving him a good physical work out before a journey will make the trip much more comfortable for him since he’ll be more likely to relax and even sleep through the trip after expending all of that energy.

10. Don’t forget the leash!  It’s worth setting a reminder for yourself because leashes are one of those things that seem so obvious to remember, but are actually so easy to forget.  In fact it’s a good idea to keep a spare leash in the trunk/boot of the car at all times, so that you always have one with you when you travel, and there’s no chance of ending up on the road without one.

Allow plenty of time to plan and prepare for your dog’s journey as well as your own.

Mark Mansfield
 

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