Tips for traveling with your dog

Some dogs like to travel and some dogs do not enjoy it at all.  However, it is necessary sometimes whether your dog likes it or not.  Here are some tips to make the traveling experience as positive for both you and your dog as possible.

1)  Invest in a seatbelt for your dog.  They are available from most pet supply houses.  In addition to protecting your dog during a wreck, they keep your dog from bouncing around the car and causing a wreck.  They also prevent your pet from bolting through an open car door and possibly getting lost or hit by a car.

2)  Use bottled water for your pet while traveling.  This will help prevent upset stomachs due to unfamiliar water.  You don’t want your dog to get Montezuma’s revenge while on a road trip.

3)  Similarly, bring some of your dog’s usual food for them to eat.  Changing food can cause the same stomach upsets that drinking unfamiliar water does

4)  Remember to stop for regular potty breaks and let your dog out of the car, but only on leash.  The most obedient dog in the world can get distracted in unfamiliar surroundings and run off.  Also, be a responsible owner and pick up after you dog.

5)  Make sure your dog has a tag on it with a phone number you can answer while you are traveling — a cell phone or a phone at the destination where you will be spending time.

6)  Have a current picture of your dog with you so if he does become lost, you can make poster to put up everywhere around the area he was lost.

7) Protect your dog from the local wildlife.  Small dogs are in danger from hawks and owls.  Larger dogs are at risk from coyotes, which will also eat small dogs.  Keeping your dog on leash will help protect him from such creatures.

8)  If your dog gets carsick then feed him some candied ginger before the trip starts.  Most dogs will eat it without a fuss and it really does help carsickness in dogs.

9)  If there is a dog at your destination, introduce your dog and the resident dog on neutral territory and supervise them closely until you are sure there will be no aggression.  Some dogs that are usually very gentle really resent visitors and can attack your dog without warning.

10)  Know the location of an emergency veterinary hospital near your destination in case your pet gets ill while traveling.  With the internet, it is not hard to find such a place in advance so you do not have to waster precious minutes hunting for one in an emergency.

11)  Finally, if your dog just loses it in the car, you can obtain a tranquilizer from your veterinarian to ease the trip for your dog.  However, consider boarding the dog instead of tranquilizing him if travel is this traumatic for him.