Travel with your dog by car can be a great experience with some thoughtful pre-planning. Just the mention of the words car, go or bye-bye and many dogs are running to the door and ready to go.
Many of us cannot bear to leave our canine family members at home when we vacation. But, while they may be ready to take off at the drop of a bone, we need to take time for a little planning. It can make the difference between a vacation delight and a vacation disaster.
Whether you are planning a short get-a-way or a full-fledged vacation, it is important to gather the right equipment and documents to help assure a happy, safe and fun trip when you travel with your dog.
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10 Basic Items You Must Have When You Travel With Your Dog:
- Main dog leash plus an extra one
- Collars for walking
- Water & food bowls (these bowls are very convenient when traveling)
- Supply of your dog’s regular food
- Treats (can’t leave home without them)
- Blankets and/or dog bed (this bed comes with a seat belt tether for added safety and can be used in your hotel room at night)
- Plastic bags for picking up waste
- Dog crate and/or dog safety belt
- ID tag and tracking chip (dogs can become lost and end up in shelters)
Health items needed when you travel with your dog:
- Medical records/health certificate from your veterinarian
- An adequate supply of medications if needed
- Motion sickness medication
- Dog first-aid kit (check here for what you need to know about Dog First-Aid Kits)
- Dog health insurance
In addition to the items you will need to gather before you travel with your dog, there is also information you will need.
Tips For Traveling With Your Dog:
- Record phone numbers and locations of Emergency Veterinarian Clinics along your route and at your destination.
- Locate dog-friendly lodging, dining, attractions, events, parks, campgrounds, beaches, etc.
- Obtain information on kennels in the area you will be staying in. Even if you don’t plan on kenneling your dog, something may come up that you have to do so. Better to be prepared.
- Check to see if the area you will be in has any restrictions on your breed. Check here for cities and states with BSL or Breed Specific Legislation.
- Research your travel destination for possible hazards to your dog that you may not have in your hometown.
- Bring several clear, recent pictures of your dog in case he gets lost and you need to copy and place in places such as veterinarian’s offices and on street posts as well as social media sites.
- Plan to stop at least every three hours to walk your dog and give him water.
- Make test runs in your car if your dog is not a frequent car rider. Start with short intervals of about 10 minutes, lengthening the time with each subsequent ride.
- Do not allow your dog to ride in the front seat. He may be a great travel companion, but the front seat is a dangerous spot for him. Instead, set him up comfortably in the back seat, in a car seat for dogs and secured by a dog seat belt. Give him his favorite top and/or blanket to snuggle with to help him feel secure.
Traveling with your dog can be an enjoyable experience for both you and your dog. Planning and being prepared for the trip will make all the difference between a wonderful, fun-filled trip or a potential nightmare. Traveling with your dog is much like traveling with a toddler; anything can happen. Surrounding your dog with as many familiar items as possible will help him to be less anxious and happy on his road trip.
Take the time, gather the proper equipment, records, and destination information before taking off to travel with your dog.This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission but it won't cost you a penny more) Click here for my full disclosure policy.