Many people that want a break from the stresses of their daily lives go on vacation at least once a year. They will usually go on vacation with family members or friends. But did you know that plenty of folks also go on holiday with their pet dogs?
Our canine companions mean the world to us. And for many dog owners, they are more like members of the family rather than “just pets.” It can be a challenge to take our dogs on planes to exotic destinations, so many of us prefer to go on a car-based vacation instead.
We are all used to taking our dogs on short journeys around town in the car. But have you ever taken your dog on a long road trip adventure? If not, this is the blog post for you. Because today you will learn some handy hints and tips to make your vacation a pleasant and memorable one. Both for you and your dog!
Is your car dog-friendly?
Before you go anywhere with your dog, the first thing you need to establish is whether your car is dog-friendly or not. Some folks drive around in small cars but own large dogs like German Shepherds or greyhounds.
For safety reasons, your dog should travel in a crate in the trunk of your car. To do this, you usually have to fold the rear seats down in your car and secure the crate to the car. Dog crates work well in cars like station wagons and SUVs. But if you drive a small city car, you will need to upgrade to a bigger model.
You will have no problem finding a suitable car from websites like easternwestern.co.uk. Not to mention local car dealerships. When you go out to view potential dog-friendly vehicles, make sure you take your dog with you.
The dealer might not allow your dog to sit in the trunk of the car, but it’s a good way of gauging whether your dog will fit in the car or not. When you buy a car, the next stage is to buy a dog crate.
You can buy “universal” dog crates or ones that are made for individual vehicles. I recommend the latter, because you will find them easier to fit. They also don’t cost much more than the universal models.
Is your dog up-to-date with their medicine?
Once you’ve got the car and dog crate sorted out, the next step is to find out if your canine companion is up-to-date on his or her medicine. All dogs need annual booster shots and worming tablets every three months. But some dogs may need extra medication if they’ve developed any medical conditions.
I suggest having a chat with your dog’s vet and check with them whether your dog will need any extra medicine. In some cases, such as for long vacations that comprise several weeks or more, your dog may need a repeat prescription.
Talk it over with your vet and let them know how long you and your dog are going away for, and whereabouts you are going. They can tell you if you need any extra medicine, and whether you need to take any special precautions for your dog.
Food and drink for the journey
As you and your dog are travelling by car, you will both need to stop and rest at some points in your trip. For those reasons, you should ensure that you both have plenty of food and drink available for the journey.
Your dog will need plenty of fresh, clean water plus the food they usually eat. Don’t feed your dog too much food as it’s likely they will vomit their food back up if they suffer from motion sickness!
You may wish to consider giving them small amounts of dry dog food (and water) at regular intervals. Their digestive systems will thank you for this!
Music for the journey
It’s no secret that classical music helps to calm down dogs that feel stressed out. For instance, you would put some classical music on if your neighbors are letting off fireworks. While most dogs love travelling in your car, some may feel rather anxious.
Even if you’re not a fan of classical music, it will make you feel less stressed out when you drive because you know your dog is feeling calm. And did you know that classical music can also help you to be a better driver too?
Studies have shown that the slow and calming nature of classical music helps drivers feel happier behind the wheel.
Don’t leave your dog unattended in the car
Just like with humans, dogs can suffer from heat stroke if they are left in cars during warm or hot days. In any event, you should make sure that you don’t leave your dog in the car unattended.
A few minutes at the gas station with a window open is OK. But much longer in an exposed area isn’t. If you have to spend a significant amount of time somewhere, take your dog with you.
Before you set off for your vacation with your dog, consider fitting some sunshades to the windows where your dog will be. They help to reflect harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun. And they help to lessen the risk of your dog overheating too.
Technology is your friend
Are you the proud owner of a smartphone? That’s great! There are plenty of apps that you can download to make your road trip journeys more enjoyable for you and your dog. For instance, there are some apps that tell you the location of parks and woodland areas.
Your dog will be happy to stretch their legs during your car journey, and it’s a good idea for you to take a break a drive from driving too.
Other apps include satellite navigation, gas station locations and more. In fact, as Apple always says in their iPhone commercials, there’s an app for just about anything!