When you’re beginning to prepare your dog for long road trips, you may quickly realize that there’s more to it than you thought. Before you start to panic, take a look at these five steps to calm your nerves and ensure that your best buddy is ready for the long road ahead.
1. Make Sure Your Dog has Correct Identification
Too often do pets go missing with out-of-date identification tags. Before leaving for your road trip, make sure that all of your pet’s identification is up-to-date with your current contact information. In addition to their ID tag on their collar, take your dog to the vet’s office to get a microchip. While it’s not a GPS, it is a microchip that contains your identification information. This is a great backup in case your dog’s collar or tag falls off.
2. Purchase the Proper Restraints
We all see television shows and commercials with a car going down a sunny road with the happy, smiling face of a dog hanging out the window enjoying the breeze. Unfortunately, this can lead to tragedy in real life scenarios. For your road trip, invest in a spacious crate with plenty of bedding in which your pooch can sit, stand and lay down in comfortably. Take the few weeks prior to heading out to acclimate your dog to his new space by leaving it out in your home and keeping him shut in it for a few hours a day.
In addition to a crate, you can also fit a harness for your pal that you can strap into a seat belt of your car. This allows your dog to feel like he’s a part of the action, while safely tethered into a back seat.
3. Take Mini Road Trips
Decrease your pup’s anxiety in the car by taking him on short trips starting a few weeks before you leave for your big trip. Keep him crated or tethered as he will be on your longer trip to help him get used to traveling in that style. Gradually increase the amount of time spent in the car each trip, but don’t forget to stop for potty breaks. And remember to never leave your dog alone in your parked car.
4. Update Your Dog’s Medical Records
If you’re traveling across state or country borders, double check with your veterinarian that all your dog’s records are up to the standards of your destination. Different places require different tests and vaccinations, and you don’t want to get caught down the road without proper paperwork. So take care to properly test and vaccinate your pooch, and take hard copies of all his records with you on your trip.
5. Pack All the Necessary Supplies
Prepare a travel kit for your canine pal with all the necessities like his leash, potty bags and pads, food and water bowls, toys, bedding and medications. When you’re in the car with your dog, or after you’ve arrived at your destination, keep a familiar blanket or toy near your bud as a comforting smell of familiarity. If your dog takes regular medications, make sure that you have more than enough to get your through your trip.
Prepare Your Dog for Long Road Trips to a Pet-Friendly Hotel
Once you prepare your dog for long road trips ahead this holiday season, make sure your reservations are at a pet-friendly hotel. For those of your traveling to the Henderson, Las Vegas or Boulder City Nevada area, check out Railroad Pass Hotel and Casino, happy hosts of both you and your beloved pooch.