Many pet parents enjoy traveling with their dogs. If you are preparing to take a road trip or start taking your pet with you on your daily routine, here are some basic guidelines to follow:
1. Try to keep them securely in the back seat, if not in a well-ventilated crate. Even the most mellow pups have triggers. When I had just adopted one of my own woofers, we stopped at a train and the whistle blew. She was yelping and crying and trying to fight her way into the front seat and into my lap for protection in the same second. If you do not wish to crate your pet, try either a barrier that goes between the front seats and the back of the car and is usually made of mesh or metal or secure your pet with a harness attached to a seat belt.
2. Try short trips first. Many pets get car sick. It isn’t something unusual, but it is something that naturally happens. Short trips help acclimate him or her to the motion.
3. Feed your pet a light meal 4 or 5 hours before setting out so they do not have a heavy tummy.
4. Keep travel papers, food, water, a first aid kit, leash, meds, plastic bags, and a favorite item from home handy.
5. Never leave your pet alone in a vehicle. If it’s hot, your car’s a furnace. If it’s cold, the car is a fridge!
6. Make certain he or she has identification if she gets lost.
7. Do you want to take your pet on trips frequently? It might be good to invest in a seat protector. I have seen these as both tuck-in fabrics and hammocks. Make sure you get one that will work with your car!
8. This one comes less from off-hand comments and more from recent experience. Child locks and “lock out” buttons are beautiful things if you have them.
I was just thinking about car safety as a blog post with two of my favorite clients, Maddie and Major, in my back seat. Mentally, I was listing off all of the things I do. Suddenly I heard the window in the back going down. I soon pressed the “Lock Out” button on my panel and jokingly told Maddie off for being such a clever girl. In addition to child locks, I now am an avid user of my lock out command! 😉
9. If you have an older or fragile breed of dog, please make sure to help them out of the car.
10. When shopping for a new car, ask about pet travel equipment. Sometimes a dealer will throw some in!
That’s all I have for now. Do you have your own tips you would like to share with other pet lovers? Comment and share your experience!