Are you planning a trip anytime soon?
If you’re hitting the road, make sure to make plans for your dog, too. We know the anxiety and worry you feel every time you have to leave Fido behind. Your mind always drifts to whether he is well, happy, fed and exercised. You can’t focus or enjoy it your holiday. What a drag!
Why not bring your dog on the trip?
Travelling with your dog can save you both from separation anxiety and worry issues. The trick here is to make your dog feel comfortable during a trip. It won’t be easy, and it takes a few practice sessions. Once your dog gets the hang of it, you’ll never want to leave your dog ever again.
Here are some tips on how to get your dog ready and comfortable for travel.
Practice by Taking Short Trips
They say practice makes perfect.
Making a few practice runs in the car with your pooch is the only way she’ll feel confident in riding with you. Plan on taking your dog with you on a quick run to the convenience store. Or, if you live near a park or beach, drive there with your dog.
The idea of this exercise is to let your dog know that riding in the car isn’t only for trips to the vet (and an injection). Make sure that these trips are short, and that your dog has something to look forward to when you get to your destination.
You could play fetch with her in the park, let her catch a frisbee on the beach, or even a friendly game of tug-of-war. This will make your dog associate travel with fun!
Take a Dog-Friendly Route
Now that your dog has become a battle-tested traveller, you should start planning your trip.
Choose a route that has plenty of stops, so you and your dog can stretch your legs and make restroom breaks. Try choosing stops near a park or places where you can have short play sessions or walks with your dog. You can also give your dog a small snack during one of your planned stops. Freeze-dried treats make a great snack on the go.
Bring a frisbee or a tug toy. Any activity you do with your dog during a stop will burn off his extra energy and keep him entertained. Speaking of entertainment, make sure you bring your dog’s favorite chew toy!
Don’t Overfeed Your Dog Before a Trip
Dogs are prone to motion sickness, so avoid feeding him too much before a trip. Also, don’t leave right after Fido has a meal. Feeding your dog while the vehicle is moving is also a big no-no.
Speaking of food, be sure to bring enough dog food and water with you, especially if your dog is a picky eater. Vital Essentials Freeze-Dried Beef Patties are a great solution for feeding your pooch while traveling
Be sure to stop if you want to give your dog some water, and give him a walk immediately after.
Should I Crate My Dog During Short Trips?
Crating is leaps and bounds safer for your dog during long trips, but it’s kind of a hassle to lug one around if you’re just driving a few blocks.
For short trips, you can buy either a backseat dog hammock or a dog car seat.
If you have a big dog, get a hammock.
Dog hammocks are great for medium to large breeds and cover the entire backseat. Hammocks also create a barrier that seals off access to the front seats. The backside of your front seats remain protected, and your dog won’t be able to bother you.
Make sure to get a hammock that’s waterproof for spills, mud and doggie “accidents”. Your dog hammock should also be thick and durable enough to handle your dog. The straps and anchors should be adequate enough so that it doesn’t come off during your trip.
The last thing you need is scruff and bite marks all over your car’s interior!
Got a small dog? Get a dog car seat.
If your dog is a toy or small breed, your best bet for a comfy ride is a dog car seat. These car seats are comfortable and act as a booster seat as well. Make sure the dog car seat you choose has a tether or anchor system, so it stays in place. Also, pick one that has restraints built in, so your dog won’t get up and jump in your lap.
When it’s time for a ride, don’t force your dog into the car. Let her go in on her own. Once your dog is familiar with the hammock or seat, getting Fluffy in the car will be a piece of cake!
How to Make Your Crating Comfortable for Your Dog
This article is all about dog comfort, so here are a few tips for making the crate comfy for your best friend.
- Check if the crate is safe and there’s nothing inside that can harm your dog. Don’t leave your dog’s collar and leash inside the box.
- Make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise before crating. A tired dog is more likely to be calm and may even sleep during some stretches.
- Give your dog her favorite soft toy, such as a stuffed animal. You can also include her favorite blanket or even your used shirt. Fido’s favorite things can make the crate less intimidating and feel more like home.
- Finally, you should project positive energy towards the crate and putting your dog in it. Don’t make a sad face or show your dog that the crate is a bad thing.
Up to this point, we’ve been talking about taking a drive with your dog. But what about other modes of travel?
A Quick Note on Air
If you’re planning to take your dog with you on a faraway vacation, make sure to plan ahead and get your wallet ready.
All countries have different travel requirements and restrictions for bringing pets. You have to know what these are before you even book a flight. Also, make sure that the hotel you’re staying in even allows pets!
Next, call your airline and ask about their regulations on pet travel. They could ask for a health certificate and other documents.
There will come a time when leaving your dog behind won’t be doable. Which is why you need to start taking your pooch with you whenever you can. Whether you’re going on a vacation or planning to visit family, bringing your dog will only add to the fun.