- 25 May 2018
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- Pet Wants
Follow These Five Travel Tips
to Help Your Dog Be a Better Traveler
For many pet parents, along with warmer weather comes the time and occasion to travel. While it’s normal and natural for you and your canine to get excited about going away together, there are a few things you can do to prepare that will make traveling a safe and happy experience for you both.
- Exercise, Exercise
Traveling usually requires sitting – or lying down – in one place for an extended period of time. And just like people, dogs’ joints can become stiff when they’re stationary for more than a few hours. That’s why getting in plenty of walk and play time before a trip is important. As well, when arriving at your destination, exercise will be valuable to getting your pet’s blood flowing again and for loosening up those joints and muscles.
- Feed Me
We all seem to get hungry when traveling, but feeding your dog mid-trip isn’t a good idea. Jostling movement in a car or plane with food in the stomach can cause vomiting. That’s why you should make sure Fifi has her regular meal at least four hours before your departure. This will ensure she doesn’t have an accident (bowel movement or vomit) in her travel spot, and that she won’t require food during your travel time.
- Travel by Crate
If your pet regularly uses a crate throughout the day or at night, traveling crated won’t be an issue for either of you. It’s the safest way to keep your dog in one place comfortably and avoid injury. If your dog doesn’t regularly use a crate, she will need to be trained 3-4 weeks in advance of your trip. Driving locally with your dog crated (as practice) will help her relieve any anxiety. Always crate positively, with cheerful talk, affection, and a treat upon entering and exiting the crate. If traveling by air, note that airlines follow regulations set out by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for proper size, construction, and ventilation. Be sure to check your airline’s website for specific pet guidelines.
- Driving Miss Daisy
For those who are planning to drive, be sure to brake and turn carefully – even more than you normally would – to avoid injury to your pet. Quick stops and sudden turns can send your dog rolling from one side of the car to the other because of their small/low center of gravity and lack of hands to hold onto a grab bar. Pet injuries due to quick stops and sudden turns can be avoided simply by drivers remembering that they have precious cargo aboard!
- Fun and Games
Just like kids, dogs need something fun to do during travel time to avoid boredom and to pass the time. Since playing I Spy isn’t an option, make sure your dogs have an inedible toy or bone nearby to chew. The best toys are those large enough that they can’t be swallowed, and those made of materials that can’t be shredded or eaten. As well, a few drops of lavender oil in your pet’s spot may help relieve his anxiety while enjoying his plaything.
Whether your trip is out of state, out of town, following these five tips will help make for a safe and enjoyable break with your dog.