Bringing your dog along on a road trip can be a wonderful way to spend quality time together and expand your pet’s experiences. Certain preparations are necessary to ensure that trips are enjoyable for both you and your pooch.
Traveling with a furry friend can be a special bonding experience. To make your doggie road trip safe and pleasant for both of you, remember to bring along these 10 items.
1. ID Collar and Microchip
First things first: If your dog somehow gets separated from you, you’ll want to be able to locate him or her. Purchase a sturdy collar and attach a personalized ID tag on it that contains your name, home address and cell phone number. It’s worth taking this step even if your best friend has a microchip.
2. Sturdy Leash
Dogs occasionally find something to chase, so to keep them from wandering into unsafe situations, play it safe and keep them on a leash at all times. This is especially necessary when visiting unfamiliar places on your road trip.
3. Water Bowl and Bottled Water
Always carry additional water and a portable water bowl with you on your travels, because you never know how often you’ll be able to find a suitable water source along your travels. Remember, dogs cool themselves by panting and drinking water, so having it water hand is critical to their health in warm conditions.
4. Dog Food
This one’s a no-brainer, but you should take care to bring along much more dog food than you expect to need. Bring along your pet’s favorite food to prevent upset stomachs that can occur from sudden changes in diet. You may not be able to find your pup’s favorite brand in another part of the country, so having the right food on hand will avoid unpleasant gastrointestinal surprises.
5. Updated Immunizations
Dog owners should make sure their pets are up to date on immunizations before traveling across the country. Some areas may have outbreaks of canine communicable diseases. To ensure that your best buddy doesn’t pick up a nasty bug along the way, talk to your veterinarian about any additional shots that may be necessary. Have a current bordetella immunization in case you must board the animal in an emergency.
6. Dog Crate or Seatbelt
Placing your dog in a secure dog crate or canine seatbelt will ensure that he or she is safe during the sudden stops that may arise on highway road trips. A variety of canine seatbelt systems are available, depending on the size and weight of the animal. A well-designed dog crate is the safest option, but some dogs object to be confined in the crate for long periods of time. Make sure you do a few trial runs before the road trip to ensure that your dog is accustomed to the new system.
7. Dog Blanket
Pack a dog blanket for motels or campgrounds to allow your dog to sleep comfortably in unfamiliar environments. Whether you are camping or staying in a hotel for the night, the blanket will serve as a special spot to rest up after the day’s activities, not to mention providing padding and additional warmth on cool nights.
If your dog takes medications on a regular basis, ensure that you have packed a sufficient amount to keep on hand. Also, bring along your veterinarians name and phone number in case the medication becomes lost or destroyed. That way, you can quickly replace the medications without disrupting your vacation schedule.
9. Waste Bags
Don’t risk running out of doggy bags! Bring along plenty of plastic bag rolls to make it easy to dispose of waste at rest areas, parks, or on hotel grounds. This is another obvious one, but it can be easy to overlook when you’re busy packing up all of your own bags.
Pack a few of your dog’s favorite toys for the road trips so they have a few familiar comfort items to help them feel secure on the journey. The toys will keep them busy during long hours in the car and relieve stress at the end of the day.
Photo credit: Creative Commons user jsmjr