Wanna go for a (l-o-n-g) ride in the car?!
This was intended to be a quick blog this week, as it's already the day after Christmas and I'm currently on vacation, but that obviously failed. haha! I'm visiting my parents on Edisto Island in South Carolina with my daughter, Michelle, and dog, Cairo. It's a 14-15 hour trip down here from Syracuse, NY, and that really got me thinking about traveling with your pets, namely dogs since I have more experience with that.
Of course, every dog is different when it comes to traveling. My dog is a big boy; he weighs almost 100 pounds and is a big goofy Rottweiler. But, he also loves to be in my car for long periods of time, so I'm sure it's much easier for me than someone who's dog is scared of cars. Here are some things to consider when traveling semi-far from home with your dog this holiday season (or anytime)...
A few things that you probably already know...
- Make sure to stop frequently, not only for potty breaks, but for exercise too. Depending on the length of the trip, your pups may need to stretch their legs.
- It's a good idea for you to make sure that your dog will relieve him/herself on multiple surfaces; not just grass.
- Make sure to bring lots of water ... not just for your dog, but for everyone.
- If your trip isn't too incredibly long, it's best for your dog to travel on an empty stomach (or at least not extremely full). It makes for a less nauseous trip.
- If your dog has a few favorite toys, bring them along. On the other hand, it may also be a wise idea to bring a few new toys to entertain your dog!
- I'm sure you already take your furry friends on normal car trips, but if not, make sure you acclimate them to your vehicle. They may get nervous if they're not used to going on rides.
A few things that you may not have thought about...
- It's a good idea to give your dogs frequent "health checks" during your trip. Nothing too intense; just make sure they're not acting out of the ordinary. On that note...
- Prepare for any minor emergencies along the way. Bring a first aid kit just in case. Everyone in the car will benefit from this. Better to be safe than sorry.
- Make sure your furry buddy has a good leash and collar with a name tag. You wouldn't want him/her escaping and being mistaken for a homeless stray. Along that note, if you haven't already, look into microchipping. It's worth the cost!
- I, personally, don't crate my dog, but if you do, or have a crate at home available for them to lay in, you'd benefit from bringing it with you on your trip. This can be difficult if you have a big dog or if you're vehicle is small, but if you have that option, go for it. They'll definitely feel more at home.
- Lastly, make sure there is sufficient ventilation. Keep the air flow going and don't subject your dog to toxic air from your bad habits. They don't smoke and don't deserve to breathe anything but clean air in. Also, make sure to keep your car at a pleasant temperature and utilize your heat and/or air conditioning when necessary.
Wow! I'm glad I wrote this. There are more things to take into consideration when traveling with your dog than I had anticipated. They can't speak up to let us know exactly what they need, how they feel, or when they need to stretch their legs, so please keep them in mind during your longer trips. They deserve to be comfortable too. From all of us at IdlePaws, happy traveling and happy holidays to you, your pets, and your entire family!