Fifty six percent of dog owners have traveled with their pet in a vehicle at least once a month over the past year. Summer’s coming, and that means many dogs will be heading out on vacation with their owners. If your dog is one of them, there are a few things you can do to ensure your trip is a safe and happy one. Start by making sure your dog has up to date shots and is microchipped. If something should happen and he runs away, you stand a much better chance of getting him back if you do. Here are some other tips to keep in mind.
Safe Travels by Car
Traveling with your pet, primarily by car, means taking special precautions to ensure you're both safe. Never let your dog ride loose in your car, especially if he's a small breed. It's distracting, and if you need to stop short, your dog will go flying, potentially injuring himself and you. Invest in a good pet safety harness or travel crate, and never let your dog ride in the front seat. Just like small children, dogs can be severely injured by airbags.
When traveling, make sure you bring along proof of rabies vaccination and prescriptions for any meds your dog may be on in case you need a refill. If your dog is a nervous traveler or like many humans, tends to get car sick, your vet can give you medication to help. Always bring along fresh water and your dog’s food, and take regular breaks so your pup can stretch his legs and do his business.
Safe Travels on the Trail
If your vacation involves hitting the trail for a taste of the great outdoors, first make sure your pup is welcome. Most National Parks, for example, don't allow backcountry camping with dogs, but their established campgrounds generally welcome them. When you're in camp, keep your dog on a leash for their safety. Remember that leave-no-trace includes them and have plenty of potty bags on hand. You should also be sure to check your dog for ticks each day and make sure they've had a topical flea and tick treatment before you go.
Your dog can carry his own pack with his food, water, and potty bags to make your load easier. Remember to stop for regular food and drink breaks and be careful if you’re tackling tough terrain with your dog and check his paw pads regularly. Don’t plan on leaving your dog at camp, he should always be with you, for his safety.
Summer's almost here, and that means its time to plan your vacation with your dog. Follow our simple tips to make it as enjoyable and safe as possible. Your dog should be up to date on his shots, have a sturdy collar with ID tags and be microchipped, and should never ride in a car without being safely restrained. Safety first means many adventures together for years to come.