When the weather is growing milder and the leaves are slowly changing colour, there is no greater feeling than jumping in the car for a weekend road trip. Whether you’re visiting relatives across the country, or just exploring a new part of the world. For many pet owners, the question of taking their dog along for the ride, leaving him with friends or family, or taking him to his favourite dog boarding kennels is a difficult choice to make.
For some pets, separation anxiety is a pressing issue that cannot be ignored. Some animals become incredibly distressed when they are away from familiar surroundings or their human companions. However, some pets love the adventure of being outdoors and exploring the unfamiliar. If your pet is one of the latter, you might want to consider taking your pet along for the ride. Autumn is the perfect time to hit the road with your pet – the weather is much milder, so longer durations in the car will be less uncomfortable for your pet. If you’re planning to hike, the insect life will also be much less active.
An extended road trip with a dog requires careful planning – it’s no walk in the park! If your dog is only used to short rides to the vet and back, you will first have to get them accustomed to longer trips. Some pets can become car sick on longer journeys, so you might want to talk to your vet about prescribing doggy Dramamine.
If you’re planning on staying in hotels or guest houses on your trip, you’ll need to check and then double check that they allow dogs in the hotel. If you’re camping, you’ll also need to make sure the campsites allow dogs. Some national parks don’t allow dogs on the trails because they might disturb the local wildlife. In addition to planning your accommodation, you will also need to schedule regular stops so your pet can stretch his legs and use the bathroom.
Update Your Dog’s ID
Keeping everyone safe and healthy should be your top priority. Even the most obedient dog can bolt if they are spooked by something unknown, which is why you should always make sure your pet is microchipped. That way, if your dog runs away on a trail, anyone who finds your pet will be able to track you down simply by finding their microchip number with a microchip scanner. Your dog should also wear a collar with your mobile number printed on it as a secondary form of ID.
Dogs can get themselves in all sorts of trouble when they’re in unfamiliar territory. From run-ins with the local fauna, to accidentally ingesting the local flora. Carry a first aid kit with you that includes bandages, tick tweezers and a saline wash for irritated eyes.
Create a Designated Space in the Car
If you have a choice, you should always take a bigger car as your pet will be less likely to become car sick. Create a designated space on the back seat with all of the creature comforts. Just like any other passenger, your pet should be wearing a seatbelt at all times. This is the law in many countries, and can carry heavy penalties. Fit your dog with a harness and a specialist dog seatbelt to keep them safe. A blanket will also help to keep pet hair and mud off your seats while creating a warm space for your dog to nap.