Some people take their dogs to long road trips, but other are afraid of many difficulties and refuse taking their best friends together.
We are just back from long holiday trip (over 5000 km), where our four feet friends have traveled with us. So I decided to share some tips for traveling with dog and some pictures from our last trip to Alps.
1. Before the trip go to the vet
Before a trip take your pet for overdue visit to the veterinarian. Beyond ensuring your pet’s health, it’s necessary to get a health control stamp into your pets vaccination passport (at least in EU). As well check for valid rabies vaccine — it’s necessary.
Some countries have their own rules for pets, so check with your veterinarian before.
2. Make a visible tag
Your dog should always wear a collar with telephone number on a tag, even if your dog has a tattoo or microchip. Not everybody knows about microchip implanted under dog’s skin or tattoo.
3. Book a hotel in advance
If you’re planning on staying at a hotel, confirm the details of your reservations with dog in advance. Not all hotels are pet friendly. Some might be very expensive or adjust weight limits.
4. Pack for your pet
Pets like the comforts of home as well as we: their own bunk, toys, even dishes. Bring them with you if possible. Pack a bowl for his water, treats, a first-aid kit, right amount of your pet’s own food, bottle of water incase there will be no water for some time on the road, dog feces bags (pooper scoopers), comfortable leash, coat if necessary.
It is important to give water at each stop, especially in summer time. That way, the change is gradual.
5. Safety in the car
Just as humans need seatbelts, pets need some form of safety restraint when in the car. The best option is pet carriers. Carriers are boxes made to confine and secure animal. They come in different shapes, sizes and materials, but all must be well ventilated. They should be large enough for your dog to sit and lie down. Make the carrier more comfortable by lining the bottom with towels or other fabric. (Wouldn’t be nice to lie on hard plastic all day).
6. Dogs get car sick, too
Some dogs get car sick just as humans. For such a pet, don’t give a meal before the trip and feed him minimally during the drive. Offer small amounts of water in the hours before the trip.
7. Be aware of the temperature
Your dog can not tell you if he’s feeling hot or cold, so be aware of the temperature. If you are wearing a warm jacket, perhaps your four feet friend would appreciate a blanket, too. In hot weather, open a window or raise the air conditioning to prevent overheating or even dehydration. Try to protect a dog from direct sun.
Never ever leave your dog alone in the car in summer time. The car’s internal temperature can rise to fatal levels very quickly, even with the windows ajar. If you need to leave the car, take your pet with you. Every year many dogs dies in the car because of the heat. It might take only 20 minutes..
8. Take frequent breaks
A dog’s legs need to be stretched twice as much than ours. Your friend also needs water, exercise and potty breaks. Having your dog lie under the café table while you eat – is not exercise, so be sure to take your dog around before jumping back in the car.
9. Avoid poison
Some dogs eat anything. Check the space around your dog. Don’t leave dangerous, sharp or toxic things around.
10. Show attention
Don’t forget to show attention to your dog during the drive. Taking for few minutes walk is not enough. Play with your dog at least few minutes, it will get more exercise and most important – will feel happy.