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5 Tips for Traveling with a Dog

 by petbucket on 15 Jul 2015 |
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Even though you want to take your dog with you when traveling, it's not always easy. If you want to make the journey as comfortable as possible, there are some simple things that can make your trip more enjoyable for everyone, including your furry companion.
 
Food and Water Supply
 
When planning your trip, bring enough of your dog's food for the entire journey, plus some extra in case there are any delays. Do not rely on being able to purchase food while you are away because not all stores carry the same brands, and changing your dog's diet suddenly could cause adverse side effects.
 
Pack enough bottled water so your dog is never at risk of dehydration. This is even more important during summer months when hot days can exhaust your dog faster. Avoid using fresh local water because water systems vary from place to place, and a sudden change could cause diarrhea.
 
Bring along ice cubes in case your dog becomes carsick, or ask for a cup of ice during your gas station breaks. Ice forces your dog not to gulp down water too quickly, which could cause it to become even more nauseous. And don't forget to bring food and water bowls.
 
Secure Your Dog
 
When traveling in the car, make sure you keep your dog secured at all times. Although you may have an obedient dog, it may get distracted by things you cannot necessarily predict, such as dogs in other vehicles. This may cause unexpected excitement and distract you while driving, putting both you, your dog, and others on the road in danger. You may want to use a kennel carrier in the back of your vehicle or a special dog-friendly seatbelt to keep it secured.
 
Be sure to also pack multiple leashes to use while outside the vehicle. You should never let your pet roam free while at rest stops or your hotel. This is not only for safety reasons, but also because it is illegal to do so in many areas.
 
Ventilation
 
It is important to keep a window open or run the air conditioning in your car to ensure your dog is getting enough fresh air and doesn't overheat. While you may feel comfortable at room temperature, traveling may cause anxiety that can lead to your dog feeling overheated.
 
If you choose to open a window, make sure there isn't enough room for your dog to jump out. Many cars now also have child safety features that will allow you to disable the controls in the back seats. Use these to prevent your dog from stepping on the electric window controls and accidentally putting the window up or down.
 
Frequent Breaks
 
Just as you need to take breaks when you are driving, you should not forget about your dog. Your dog needs the chance for toilet breaks just as much as for exercise, as dogs tend to move around much more frequently than humans. Take these opportunities to provide fresh water, too.
 
Prepare for Emergencies
 
It is important to remember that accidents happen and being far away from home can make them even more difficult to handle. In addition to any regular medications that your dog may need, don't forget a pet first aid kit that includes bandages, gauze, and topical ointments in case you encounter the unexpected. Bring a copy of your dog's medical records in case you need professional treatment while abroad or proof of vaccinations.
 
Consider bringing your dog's favorite blanket and toys to help keep it calm and comfortable in scary situations. Never remove your dog's collar and check that your contact information is up-to-date and clearly readable before starting your trip. Even the most well-trained dogs can become spooked and run off, so you want to make sure you're easy to contact, just in case.
 
If you want to bring your dog with you while traveling, plan ahead to make it easier on both of you. Preparation can make your trip less stressful and more enjoyable.

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