Summer Travel Tips
Summer – long days, warm breezes and cool waters. A time when we pack up the car and head for the open road to experience new adventures, near and far.
If you’re planning to bring your pup on the road with you this year, here are three things I’ve learned along the way to keep my furry travelers safe and happy:
1. FOOD + WATER
This may seem obvious but it’s an important one. If you’re road tripping make sure to carry a gallon jug of water just for your pup. I fill one halfway and freeze it the night before a trip. Then before heading out, fill it up with filtered water so they have cool water the whole day. I also pack two collapsable dishes so I can easily feed + water at rest stops, hiking trails and outdoor restaurants.
I always bring more food then I think I’ll need and pack high value treats. Depending on where you’re traveling to, you may not have access to a pet store.
2. SAFETY + SECURITY
Before you leave, make a copy of your pup's rabies certificate and research veterinary offices in the town you're visiting. That way you're prepared in case of an emergency. It's also a good idea to pack a doggie first aid kit. Here’s a list of items to include.
My biggest fear when traveling with my dog is that they will get lost. Make sure their microchip is up to date and secure an ID on their collar. I always bring a long leash and tie-down I can secure them to a tree, fence post, or screw into the ground so your dog has some freedom without the risk of getting away. Rock-climbing karabiners are great for quick + easy securing, I keep one on the loop of my leash al the time. Please never leave your dog tied up alone! They could get tangled or someone could easily steal them if they are left unattended.
Another security issue is in the car. You wouldn’t allow your child to ride in the car unsecured but what about your pup? If you get in an accident, your pup can become a projectile. Even slamming on the brakes can create a dangerous situation, especially for small dogs. To keep them safe, keep them in their crate with a comfy bed or consider using one of these seat cover/hammocks. We also use seatbelt harness attachments so they have a little more mobility to look out the window and relax. Again - do not leave your dog in a locked car, even for a few minutes! Even with the windows cracked, the temperature inside a car can become deadly in as little as 10 minutes.
3. BE MINDFUL OF THEIR NEEDS
Traveling with your pet can be a great experience for both of you. However, you have to realize that it will limit what you can do on your trip. You’ll be dining outdoors (even in the rain!), bringing extra gear and allowing time for them to get used to their new environment. Some dogs take to traveling very well, others can find it stressful. Watch for their stress signals and don’t push them too hard, especially if you have a senior pup. The stress of a new place and summer heat will have an impact on them. Be mindful of that and adjust your plans so they have a good time as well. Bringing along their bed, favorite toy and plenty of high value treats certainly helps.
Have fun out there!