Tips for a Road Trip with Fido
Summer time is heating up and you are finalizing your vacation plans. You ask yourself, “What should I do with the dog?” Should he stay or should he go? You are thinking about how safe will he be, how happy will he be, how convenient will it by for you, and of course, the cost.
In general, travel with animals is easier than ever. In fact, 60% of pet owners made the choice to travel with their pets in 2010 and this number has increased 300% since 2005. There are many hotels and getaway rentals that permit and even specialize in animal guests, and there are many resources that you can use to plan for doggy-friendly activities wherever you go. Here are a few that I found useful and interesting:
Most of you that have decided to bring your dog are going for a car ride, 76% of you, in fact. Only 6% of travelers will take their pets to the skies. So before taking off on that adventure, here are a few car travel tips to make it a safe and pleasant experience for everyone.
- Make a list and check it twice. Before a vacation with the pup, make a packing checklist for your dog. A prepared vacation is a happy one. This includes not only basic necessities, such as food and water, but also supplies in case of emergencies: unplanned bathroom breaks, escapes, and medical situations.
- Clean bill of health. Many dogs and cats do not travel well in a car. Consider speaking with your vet about sedatives. Also, consider potential treatments for travel-sickness, anxiety, diarrhea, bug bites and stings, and don’t forget flea and tick protection. Be sure to get recommended dosages from your vet before giving your pet any medications.
- Riding in the car can be a hazard. A car becomes both a dog and human hazard, if Fido is left unrestrained. A sudden stop, or even an accident can send your pet flying. A 2011 survey by AAA and Kurgo dog products revealed that giving the dog free will in the car is a MAJOR distraction, increasing the risk of an accident. More than 80% of people acknowledged unrestrained dogs in moving vehicles were dangerous, yet only 16% use a pet restraint and 39% never considered a restraint. To remedy this problem, pick up a special seatbelt-like harnesses, safety barriers, crates or carriers to keep you and your dog safe.
- Don’t leave Fido in the car. You know that half the fun of a road trip is getting out to eat and take in the sights. Remember that leaving the dog in the car is risky business, as the temperatures rise quickly and leave your dog at risk of heat stroke or dehydration. Take a look at our blogs, “Dangers of Dog Days of Summer” and “Keep Your Dog Cool with These Life-Saving Tips”, for details on the dangers and solutions for the problem.
Some simple preparation could make a big difference for your dog-filled vacation. If taking your dog on the road is in your plans, tell us about it! What tips or lessons can you share? Would you do it again?