You’ve decided to take your dog with you on a trip, and now you need to know that before you start having a great time with your four-legged friend, there are quite a few things you need to do to ensure you get there safely and stress-free. The fact that you’d rather bring them along shows that you care about them and that you’ll do everything you can to make the trip as pleasant as possible.
Most people nowadays travel either by car or plane, which is why we’ll focus on these two means of transport and how you can prepare your dog and yourself for the trip. The more attention you invest in planning and preparing, the more likely you will all have a great time, which is why we’ve prepared the following tips that should help you make that happen:
Get a crate
No matter how cruel and inhumane it may seem, putting your dog in a crate is actually helping it feel safer. Before you make them go in the crate, give your friend some good exercise, so that they are much less energetic. Also, make sure that the crate contains nothing that could be a strangling hazard, such as a leash or loose collar.
It’s important you don’t push your dog into the crate, but allow them to get in on their own. Once the dog is settled, close the door and walk away as if it’s the most normal thing in the world. If your dog detects that you’re sad for putting them in the crate, they’ll feel anxious, which is something you want to avoid at any cost. Return a few minutes later to show them that you’ve not abandoned them and your dog will appreciate it.
A dog in a car
Having your dog in a crate is a good idea when you’re driving, because you won’ be so distracted by their behaviour and in case you have to brake suddenly, they won’t fly around the cabin. Another important thing to bear in mind is not to overfeed your dog before the trip, since dogs are known to suffer from motion sickness.
Make regular breaks during the ride and let your dog out to stretch their legs and have just a snack. That means you need to remember to bring enough food. Find some high quality food, such as Black Hawk dog food and make sure you have enough of it for the trip. The same goes for water. What you mustn’t do is park the car and let your dog stay in it, especially if it’s hot outside, because your friend might easily get dehydrated.
Flying with a dog
Before you book your plane tickets, you need to check the airline’s policy on pet travel and make sure you can comply with the requirements. For instance, many airlines demand a health certificate, so you need to be ready to provide one once you get to the airport. Since your dog will travel in a crate, you might want to put them there before you enter the airport, so that they feel less stressed because of the typical chaos.
When it comes to feeding, the same rule applies. You should probably have your dog fast a few hours before the trip to avoid motion sickness, but you need to remember to allow them to get some exercise and do their business as close to departure time as possible. Again, avoid emotional goodbye scenes, remain calm and composed. Your dog will follow suit.
Many people sedate their dogs before a trip and with the advancements in the pharmaceutical industry, it is now done more efficiently than before. However, by doing this on a regular basis, you’re creating a dependence on pills to overcome stress.
These tips refer only to the travelling part of your journey, since it is the most critical one. Still, if you have a trained and well-behaved dog, the level of stress for both of you will be minimal, which means you can enjoy your time away from home even more.
We have more articles on how to travel with your best friend. Check out Should You Take Your Dog To Travel With You? Pros & Cons and 5 Tips for Travelling with Pets.