When it comes to taking a road trip, most dog owners don't want to leave their pets behind – especially if it's for the holidays. Fortunately, bringing the pet along for the ride can be safe and easy when it's planned ahead. You'd think it would be as simple as securing yourself into the car with a seat belt, but it's a bit more complicated than that. Here are a few tips for keeping your dog safe and happy on your road trip to visit the family at grandma's house for Christmas.
Is your car the right size?
According to Consumer Reports, the first step to ensuring safe travels is to choose the right car, SUV or minivan. Make certain that your vehicle of choice is reliable for the safety of you and your dog.
For smaller pets, a hatchback or station wagon is the perfect-sized car. The extra space in the back gives room for your dog's food and toys as well as his carrier. An SUV is great for larger pets, providing ample room for him without cramping your space. A minivan is ideal for any road trip, but it's especially perfect for a long journey with any dog. This vehicle supplies the most space and its low body also makes it easier for your dog to enter and leave.
Are you stopping enough?
Once you and your little guy hit the road, make sure you are stopping regularly for water and food breaks, restroom breaks, and exercise. The Truckers Reports said most rest areas have spaces specifically noted as the pet area, so you won't have to worry about finding a place to take him to relieve himself. Always make sure to walk him on a leash and pick up after your dog.
"Always keep water in easy reach."
Did you pack all of his things?
When it comes to packing, it's just as important to remember to bring all of your dog's belongings as it is to bring yours. The Humane Society of the United States said to bring your pet's carrier, food and water dishes, food, bedding, leash, collar, tags, necessary grooming supplies and any medications he may take. Also, make sure to keep a pet friendly first-aid kit and water handy at all times for safety. Don't forget to bring him a few of his favorite toys to keep him occupied throughout the duration of the trip.
Are you taking all of the necessary pet safety precautions?
While you're on the road, it's crucial to practice pet safety precautions at all times. Consumer Reports suggested never letting your pet ride with his head out the window. Neglecting to do so can result in eye, ear and head injuries for him. Also, make sure to never leave your pet in the car unattended without at least leaving the windows cracked. If you have a sunroof, keep it open. It is critical to never leave him in the car alone on extremely hot or cold days, because your dog can become dehydrated or even freeze to death. Last but not least, never open the door without putting your dog on a leash first. Unfamiliar places may incline him to take off, so always have the leash ready to prevent the chance of losing him during your road trip.