Traveling with Your Dog

Traveling with Your DogSince your vacation days are piling up and they roll over like a lazy basset hound, you pounced on that 70% off deal on 3 night stay in Charleston.

Road Trip!

Of course the dog is coming with, and the boutique hotel even advertised a grooming service. Now there’s just a 3 hour car ride between you and that cute European stranger with the Speedo at Folly Beach.

Planning is key, and depending on how you prepare, the road trip with your dog can be fun like Sunday Brunch, or more stressful, like the mall in December.

Health Checkup

She may not need a malaria vaccine for your ride to South Carolina, but it’s smart to schedule an examination to make sure all of her vaccinations are current and that she’s healthy enough for the adventure. And it’ll make the change easier on your dog if you bring along a supply of her regular food and bottled water for the entire trip.

Riding in a Crate

Don’t think of putting her in a dog a crate like the time you got arrested at Mardi Gras. Your dog likes the enclosure, and many feel more secure in them. Just make sure the crate is large enough for her to stand up, turn around, and lie down, and that there are no leashes or collars that could pose a strangling hazard. A crate design with good ventilation is important, and you’ll make the space cozier with a cushy pad and her favorite toy or blanket.

Preparation

Just like mom and dad knew that the country omelet and hash browns your little brother had at Cracker Barrel on the way to the beach would probably end up on the backseat, your dog should also be fed sparingly before a road trip. They’re prone to motion sickness, and aside from small treats during breaks, it’s better not to feed your dog before or during the trip. Help her become familiar with the car by going on a few short trips around town before the big day.

On the Open Road

You didn’t like it when Grandma chain-smoked menthol 100’s with the windows rolled up, and your dog will appreciate some fresh air too. Keeping the car and crate cool and well ventilated, will make the ride much more comfortable for you and your dog. Plan for frequent breaks to stretch and go potty. This trip won’t go down on record as the fastest ride to the beach, but it doesn’t have to be remembered as the one when the car got that funky smell. While food should be limited during the trip, your dog should always have access to plenty of fresh water, and never EVER leave an animal locked in a car. Even with the windows cracked, the environment inside can quickly heat up to the perfect temperature to bake half pepperoni, half mushrooms and onions.

You Made It!

The trip was a success. The guy in front of you got snagged in the speed trap on I-26, and your dog slept almost the whole way. You both deserve a long walk to stretch your legs and take in the new scenery. Remember that your dog is out of her element and may be a little nervous. Be patient if she growls at strangers, and reassure the dog that all is well, and you’re both about to have some well deserved fun. When you get to the hotel room, enter first, and then have the dog stay in one place while you unpack, take a shower, etc. Allowing her free reign in the new environment before you’ve settled in and established control might encourage a proper rampage that would make Ozzy Osbourne blush.