Thursday, June 2, 2011

Road-Tripping with your Pooch

Now that summer has arrived, I’m sure a lot of you are planning on taking a family vacation, and if you’re like me, the entire family includes the dog. Dogs can be great traveling companions, and are usually happy just to be with their people. However, if you take a few extra steps you can make your next road trip more fun for everyone.

To start, make sure your pup is acclimated to riding comfortably in your car for close to the length of the trip you have planned. The car should be large enough that they have plenty of room to stretch out or stand up if they want to. In other words, no Great Danes in a subcompact! If you have leather or vinyl seats, put down a sheet or towel to give your pup some more walking traction, and consider a seatbelt harness if he or she just won’t stay put.

If your dog tends to get carsick, consider feeding him a couple of ginger snaps right before the trip. Ginger has long been used to treat nausea in people, and it helps with dogs too. An elevated perch that allows them to look outside the vehicle can provide a sense of equilibrium and help calm their nerves as well. Also, be sure to take along more water than you’ll likely need. Dogs can have sensitive stomachs, and switching them immediately to a different water source when you reach your destination can make them sick. Instead, mix in some of the water you brought with the new water until your pup gets used to it.

Finally, some dogs just can’t be let loose in the car, so the use of a properly-sized crate may be necessary. Just keep in mind that crates aren’t always near a/c vents, so you’ll need to be especially watchful that your pup doesn’t overheat, and include a pet crate fan if possible. Be sure to stop frequently for water breaks, and never leave your dog in a hot car!

As always, you should consult your veterinarian for any specific pet travel issues, but hopefully these tips can help make your next trip more enjoyable for every member of your family. 

Photo Credit: LNJ

No comments: