Dog travel tips

Posted on: 01 May 2019 by 50connect editorial

The May Day bank holiday means many of us will be heading for days out, so be prepared and take everything you need if you are travelling with your pet.

travelling with your dog

Summer is finally here again and that means lots of us will be heading out on the roads for short breaks and days out, and many of us will be accompanied by a pooch. Many years ago I lost a dog for three days. They were among the worst days of my life but I learned a valuable lesson. No matter how careful and protective you think you are, it still can happen…even to you.

Before you set out for your travel adventures this year, take some precautions to be sure your dog stays safely with you at all times. Make your travel as great for your pet as it is for you.

So, what are some of the things you can do to prepare for your trip with your dog?

Bring a harness with you and be sure it is secured properly on your dog before opening any doors. I prefer a harness as a precaution against any impact-type car accidents. The harness, if fit properly to the dog’s size, will put less pressure on the throat, or possibly no pressure at all. 

Bring plenty of bottled water for both you and your dog. You may not always have fresh water available to you on your travels. You don’t want your pet to drink any water that you can’t be 100% certain is fit for consumption.

Pre-existing medical conditions

Take your veterinary records and information with you. Place the documentation in a sealable plastic bag to protect it from getting wet or damaged. This will be very helpful should you have any emergencies along the way. Your pet may have an allergic reaction to something or simply have an unexpected medical emergency. If this happens you will want to be able to have quick contact with your own veterinarian for advice. Be sure you have their emergency number, as well as their regular phone number.

Pack an ample supply of fresh food and treats. Plastic containers, like Tupperware, are great for keeping food and treats fresh. Be sure to check the package for refrigeration needs, if any. Like people food, some pet foods require refrigeration once opened. Unless you have an RV or other means of keeping the food cold for long periods of time, you may want to be careful of what you bring. Not all pet foods will necessarily be readily available to purchase along your travels. Once opened, food can spoil very quickly.

Regular stops

Plan to make scheduled stops to let your dog get some exercise and do their duty, so to speak. The fresh air and movement will be good for you too. However, be careful of where you walk your pet. It is not uncommon to find broken glass and other dangerous items along roadside stops.

Did you know that you can have a rice-sized microchip implanted in the scruff of your pet’s neck for tracking purposes should he/she become lost? Check with your Veterinarian or local animal hospital for more information on this unique tracking device. Many pets have been reunited with their rightful owners because of this tiny implant. These chips can be scanned by veterinarians and other medical facilities for the information necessary to bring your pet back home to you.

Bandages are a good thing to have along in case they step on a small piece of glass or other sharp item at the many stops you will be making along the way.

Pet travel checklist

Okay, I know this seems like a lot of packing but it will be worth your while. Following are items you need to consider bringing with you when travelling with your pet:

  • Bandages and wound treatment
  • Bottled water
  • Feeding dish and water dish
  • Fresh food and treats
  • Grooming needs (brush or wipe cloth)
  • Harness
  • Pet Blanket, bed or pillow
  • Toys
  • Veterinarian: regular phone no. and emergency phone no.
  • Veterinarian: medical records (history)
  • Veterinarian: list of ones along the route you are taking.

The bottom line is take precautions, prepare ahead of time, have a check list to be sure nothing is left behind by accident, and have a great vacation or trip with no mishaps along the way that can’t be handled quickly and easily.

A long trip is much more pleasant if you are properly prepared and if everyone is able to stretch frequently so don’t be in a hurry to reach your destination. Enjoy the trip from start to finish.

© Joanell Hutchinson

Joanell is the founder of Weller Solutions, a company dedicated to pets, and a lover of Chihuahua dogs. 

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