Like most pet parents, you’re probably gearing up to hit the road for a day trip with your pooch, or even a fall getaway. Before you go, be sure to take the necessary measures to ensure your pet is happy and safe during your travels.
1. Secure Your Pooch
One of the most important but overlooked precautions to take when taking a road trip
with your pup is securing him in your vehicle. The rest of the family buckles up, so why is Rover allowed to travel “free range”? The same dangers we face when not secured in our vehicles apply to our pets. Further, a roaming pet can be a big distraction to the driver. Methods to use include a pet seat belt, travel kennel, pet car seat, and vehicle pet barriers.
2. Say “No” to Heads Out the Window
Most dogs love riding with their heads out the window. We want our dogs to enjoy the ride so much that we don’t always consider the risks versus rewards. Allowing our dogs to stick their heads out the window is incredibly dangerous. Not only can they potentially fall or jump out, but they can also get injured by flying stones, dust, bugs, and other objects. Also, too much persistent wind in the face can seriously hurt your pet’s eyes and ears.
3. Don’t Leave Your Dog Alone
Don’t leave your pet alone in the car – particularly in hot weather. The temperature inside a car can skyrocket in a very short period of time, which makes it very dangerous for your pet. Leaving the windows cracked does not help. In addition, an unattended pet can be a target for pet thieves.
4. Keep Water Handy
Car rides tend to make us all a bit dehydrated. But for dogs, they seem to get dehydrated even more. The panting and excitement seems to add to their need to wet their whistles. Be sure to bring some clean, fresh water along so your pooch can sip a bit from time to time. Since car rides
do have the potential to upset pets’ stomachs, don’t overdo it as too much water at one time may cause a rumbly in the tummy. Same goes for food – it’s best to keep food intake to a minimum for the same reasons.
5. Make Plenty of Pit Stops
Wherever your travels take you, make sure you allow for ample time to stop along the way, to allow your pet to take potty breaks and stretch his legs. Make sure you’re stopping in a safe spot, away from traffic. Most thruway travel centers have designated dog potty areas. Also, be sure to bring poop bags to pick up after your pooch.