Canine Companions: Traveling With Your Dog

People often take their dogs with them wherever they go. If you’re one of those people, here are some tips to keep you and your best friend safe.


Protect Your Vehicle

Most dog owners know what living, and traveling, with a dog can be like. These car seat covers will help keep your furry friend from funkifying the whole car, while saving your upholstery. Plus, some of the covers on the market today are fairly plush, providing a nice, cozy, spot for Spot to lay down on.

When the trip is over, all you have to do is yank up the car seat cover and do some light vacuuming and you’re done. No more day-long cleaning, trying to suck out embedded dog hair from your new (or well-maintained) vehicle.


Crating Your Dog For Travel

Most professionals recommend crating your dog during the trip for a variety of reasons. Mostly, this applies to dog who get nervous on long trips. You’ll be less distracted by their antics, and it prevents pooch from becoming a projectile if you have to stop fast. In many ways, it’s protection for your dog and for you.

Don’t feed your dog while you’re moving either, because if you hit a bump while he or she is chewing, the dog could choke.

Above all, keep the energy calm, assertive, and positive. Don’t treat the crate like a prison. Treat it like a safety area where your pup can be protected from danger – because that’s what it really is.


Medicating Your Dog

Some dogs need to be medicated for long trips because they can’t handle the commotion. While this certainly is an option, many experts don’t recommend it because it create dependency on drugs for travel. Medication should only be used in extreme circumstances when it’s clear that there is no other way to calm your dog down, and you need to maintain a strict travel schedule.

Food and Water

Wait until you’re at a rest area, or a designated rest stop, to feed and water your dog. This will be the safest way to handle feeding, and it will give you time to stop and stretch your legs. Feeding during the trip is generally a bad idea. It creates a choking hazard and could rile your dog up at a time when there’s no outlet for that kind of energy.


Bathroom Breaks

Dogs need bathroom breaks, just like people. Don’t forget or you might have an awful mess on your hands. Unless your doggie is a large breed that isn’t normally active, you will probably have to stop every one or two hours.

This might slow you down, but most dogs don’t like to sit still for that long, and they can get restless and anxious, especially if they’re not used to traveling or don’t like it. Let them get out and smells the smells, sniff around, and mark territory. Let them be a dog, and they (and you) will be happier for it.

Rebecca Warrington works in animal welfare and also enjoys sharing her thoughts and insights on canine matters with an online audience. She has already written for a number of pet-friendly websites.

Follow Kimberly Storms (LittleCrunchy) on Google+!