Spending quality time with your pets allows you to bond with them and help them feel loved and welcomed into your life. Don’t forget that dogs are social creatures and they need to be entertained as often as possible. Therefore, taking your pet for a road trip or camping is the perfect opportunity to determine it to become more active and spend all the extra energy without tearing apart your house.
But, as fun as a road trip with your doggo may sound, you have to plan and prepare for the worst case scenarios. Here are some tips and tricks that will help you survive the trip and make the most of it for you, your family, and your pawed friend.
Look for pet-friendly locations
Assuming you will be away for at least a couple of days, you need to find a place where you and your pet are both welcomed. Whether we are talking about pet-friendly houses, hotels, motels or campsites, you need to book them in advance to avoid unpleasant surprises upon your arrival.
If you plan on staying at a hotel, make sure it also has a daycare room where you can leave your puppy to play and socialize with other pets while you go visiting or shopping. No matter your accommodation choice, we advise you to invest in some high-quality dog GPS trackers to avoid losing your pet.
Don’t forget that there are also some online tools and websites you can use to track down the friendliest hotels for your pets, non-stop vet clinics, stores, and other useful information.
Pack the essentials
You’re not the only one who’s going to need a suitcase for a trip to the mountains. You will also have to bring your pet’s essentials to make sure it has everything it needs to be happy.
That being said, you might want to stuff in some poop bags, collars, a leash, medical records, name tags, grooming supplies, a towel, a blankie, your pet’s favorite organic puppy shampoo, water and food bowls, toys, and a comfortable dog bed.
Pack for the weather
Although we recommend bringing your dog with you on holidays in the summertime, some trips cannot be avoided no matter the weather outside. Therefore, don’t forget to pack some of your pup’s bad weather essentials, including a pair of cool and comfortable dog boots for snow or a hooded jacket.
Keep your dog seated while traveling
When driving, you should also find a comfortable spot for your dog to stay. We suggest having it restrained with a pet seat belt to prevent it from roaming around. This precaution will keep both of you safe, even in case of impacts. If you have a hard time keeping your pet in a special seat, you could try bringing in its own bed. The familiar smells will help your doggo calm down and be more cooperative.
Don’t feed your dog right before a long drive
No matter the moment of the day you decide to start your journey, it isn’t a good idea to feed your pet right before you leave. Puppies tend to get anxious and nervous before trips, so they have increased chances of developing stomach or bowel problems, including diarrhea, indigestion or food poisoning.
We suggest starting to prepare for your road trip one or two days in advance and eliminating all heavy foods that might cause digestive problems.
Avoid canned foods and home-cooked ones and stick to a reliable source of proteins and veggies. On the day of your departure, feed your dog a light meal a couple of hours before leaving, and make sure it went to the bathroom before you get inside the car. Bear in mind that puppies can also have motion sickness, so you should stop by a vet pharmacy and purchase some pills.
Keep a pet first-aid kit in your car
If you are traveling with your pet for a long distance, chances are you won’t be able to prevent all health problems that might occur. Whether we talk about diarrhea, anxiety, motion sickness or any other affection, you should buy or make a first-aid kit for your pet.
Fill the kit with antibiotics, vitamins, pills for various affections, as well as a towel, tweezers, hydrogen peroxide for cleansing wounds, sterile pads, band-aids, a thermal blanket and anything else you think might come in handy when treating your pet. You should also keep some organic snacks or energy bars for dogs.
Make things entertaining
You have to stay focused on the road when driving, but you cannot ask for your pet to stay still for hours without having anything entertaining to do. Pets get bored easily, especially if they are locked in narrow spaces, so it would be for your own good to give your dog something to do.
If you are traveling alone, try making the backseat as comfortable as possible. Add your pup’s favorite blankie, pillow, and enough chewing toys, perhaps even the ones that make noises and sounds to keep your pooch interested and focused. Listening to music and communicating with your pet are also great ways of keeping it entertained and helping it relax.
Get your pet tired
The less energy your dog has when getting inside the car, the more likely it will be to fall asleep or behave during the trip. Therefore, we suggest taking a long walk with your pet in the park or running around your backyard for a little bit. Working on the treadmill or simply playing fetch are other methods to get rid of the extra energy.
Getting your dog tired will also help you focus on driving and not having to check up on it every five seconds. It will also allow you to take fewer breaks and, therefore, reach your destination faster.
What you need to know about taking your dog on a plane
Are you planning a long trip that requires air travel? If you do not want to leave Fido behind, be aware of all the requirements involved with your decision. Some people even prefer to find a babysitter for their dogs, instead of going through all the nuisances associated with dogs on planes. Here are the things you must be aware of when you embark an aircraft with your dog in tow.
Check each airline’s requirements
No matter what general advice you may get from online sources and not only, not one piece of information can be more valuable than this: check the requirements stated by each airline because those are the most important. Is it possible to take your dog in the cabin with you? What is the maximum weight allowed? Will your dog be considered your carry-on luggage?
Learn about the prices
Your dog will require transportation and, as a result, you will be charged for it. The rates can vary quite significantly from one airline to another. Also, you may find that some accept that you pay the fee for your dog when you embark your flight, and not when you book. These details are essential, for a headache-free trip with your dog.
The prices can be higher for dogs that are transported as cargo. If you have a large breed dog, this may be the only way to have him or her with you on a plane. The dog crate you will use in the cabin, if that is allowed, should be small enough to fit under another seat located in front of you. As you can easily imagine, this will be hardly the case for a large breed dog.
Some airplanes may offer dog kennel options, but be aware that such high-class arrangements come with a hefty price. If you don’t want to end up spending the cost of another whole ticket, you might be content with the cargo option.
Your dog should be healthy and fit for travel
Airlines usually require that you have proof from your veterinarian that your dog is healthy, and that must be submitted several days before your flight. Also, be aware that some dog breeds, like those known to have difficulties breathing at high altitudes, may not be allowed on a plane at all.
Offer your dog the same conveniences as at home
Your dog may become stressed during flight, and it is up to you to make this experience as manageable as possible.
The crate or kennel you will use should offer the desired level of comfort, so placing an absorbent layer on the bottom is a must; it will keep the cage clean, and your dog will have something soft to sit on.
Make sure your pet has enough food and water for the duration of the flight. Also, the cage must be well ventilated. Attach a label on the crate with your address, in case there is a mix-up with the luggage. All these measures will ensure that your dog will have a comfortable experience.