Before hopping in a car for a long road trip it is best to get your puppy used to riding in the car from an early age. Our puppies had a long road trip really early in their lives. Our breeder actually lives 5 hours from our home! I worried with both of them that they would become car sick but luckily neither of them did. Here are a few tips on how to make travel a little easier and more comfortable for both puppy and their owners.
Tips For Traveling With Pets:
Start by sitting in the car with your puppy and playing with him and giving him a treat. Next you can start with a short ride before you take a long road trip (unless you are us and then you go for a 5 hour road trip). It is best to hold your dog on the first car rides so that they feel safe and this way they will be less likely to get car sick. A helpful tip is to take your dog for a long walk prior to a road trip. This can help calm your dog and if your dog is tired they will be more likely to ride easier.
It is important for you to keep your dog tagged while traveling. In case your dog were to get loose this will help you with identification. I have my cell phone number on my dogs tags so that I can be reached in case of an emergency. Also keep your dog on a leash, even if your dog is trained. You wouldn't want your dog to become startled and run away in a new environment or if there are other pets around (especially at rest stops).
Before you travel talk to your veterinarian about any medications that may help with motion sickness or anxiety (if you pet experiences this). Be sure to pack everything that you will need while traveling as you may not have the ability to stop for the correct supplies. Take food, medication, bowls, waste pick-up bags, cold water, leash, blankets, dog bed and crate. I always pack a new toy and a chewy or Kong to keep my dogs busy while we travel.
Dogs should NOT be allowed to ride with their heads outside car windows (even if they enjoy this). Particles of dirt can enter their eyes, ears and noses and can cause injury or infection. If you are traveling by plane we have some specific tips for flying with dogs that may help you.
You may want to consider investing in a SturdiBag Pet Carrier if you plan to travel often with your pets. It is a compact and light pet carrier that can carry up to 50 pounds. I use this with my two dogs and they do quite well in it. It is suitable for all cats and most small to medium breed dogs up to 30 pounds. You carrier can be used on a plane or in the car. I like it because it is durable but really light weight. It has an adjustable 4-point padded shoulder strap and leather handle grip.
It even features a privacy flap and mesh window which is nice when you use it to carry two pets. It is designed to fit under any airline seat and has a seat belt strap for traveling in the car too! It comes in a variety of sizes, styles and colors too! I like that the large and extra large have divided versions which are perfect for my two pups. One tip is to practice with your pets in it before traveling with them and you can use a treat to get them to willingly go inside.
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