Traveling with your dog

Spring is almost here (or at least that is what we hope) and it will be time to hit the road! Vacations with pets can be stressful. Knowing some simple hints and helpful products can make a road trip with your dog fun.

Not all dogs are born travelers. Most of mine love to jump in the car, but a one gets car sick. It is always best to put your dog in an appropriately sized kennel while you are traveling since dog seat belts have been shown to cause severe injuries and a loose dog can cause distracted driving. If your dog gets car sick like mine, you can try adding a kennel fan. These fans can operate on batteries or can be plugged into your cars cigarette plug. The cool air will help your dog feel better in the car. Herbal remedies for anxiety will also help alleviate some symptoms and  can be given before your trip starts and also during your trip.

Staying hydrated on a road trip is important for you and your dog. There are many different travel water containers for dogs. While there are water bowls that can attach your dog’s kennel, however these can spill. It is best to select a bowl that has a no slip design and weighted base. A way to secure it to the kennel and easily remove it are key. If you are planning to go camping, look for one that will also prevent ants from getting into the bowl. Several bowls will also have a freezing insert that will be good for a hot weather and you can buy extras and keep them in the cooler in the car.  Food bowls are just as important, as is food storage.

Like your water bowl you will want your food bowl to have a weight base for use in the car and to have a way to keep ants out. Storing your pet’s food can be hard. You will want to keep it safe from bears and your dog! We have one dog that will eat through containers to get to his food. If you have a dog like that, you might want to get a small metal bucket like they sell for bird seed. You can get these at feed stores if you have a hard time finding them. If your dog is not like that, you can simply use a plastic feed storage bin. Make sure to bring enough food for your entire trip and a little extra in case your trip runs long.

Being able to confidently take your dog out of the car at rest stops and at your destination might be the most important travel item in your arsenal. Make sure you have a collar that is not too loose. You want to be able to place two fingers under the collar, but make sure that no matter how hard your dog pulls, it cannot come over his head. To be sure, it is best to use a properly fitted harness that is attached to his collar. Harnesses will be harder to pull out of and by attaching this to the collar you have an extra measure of protection in case your dog does pull free. Even the most well trained dog can become frightened if a semi drives by or a car honks its horn. There is nothing worse than seeing your dog run off into a busy highway.

Some leashes have special attachments that will allow you to hook the leash to a tree or pole.  This will be helpful at the campground or a picnic. Always remember to carry lots of poop bags! You will need enough for your entire trip. For a trip into nature you can pick up biodegradable bags that can be safely places in roadside garbage cans.

Hopefully with a few items and some nice weather you will be able to enjoy a vacation with your dog!

– Danielle Oudenhoven

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6:31 pm | by Richard Jordan

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