How To Prepare for a Road Trip with Your Dog
1. ID Tags: Get your dog an identification tag with your name and both your home and cell phone numbers. If your dog already has an identification tag, make sure it is legible and all information is current.
2. Regular Food: Sudden changes in diet can lead to gastrointestinal problems. Switching foods while on vacation is not a good idea.
3. Dog Treats: Loading the car up with snacks is part of the fun of road tripping. However, it is not a good idea to give your dog foods made for people because they can cause problems such as stomach upset and weight gain. Foods like chocolate, coffee, grapes, and raisins are actually toxic to dogs. Bring along some dog treats so Fido can enjoy a little snacking, too. Keep all food in a secure place to keep your dog from eating too much.
4. First Aid Kit: Complete canine fist aid kits can be purchased at pet supply stores. You can also make one yourself. Kits should include items such as scissors, bandages, important numbers, cotton balls, tweezers, eye wash solution, antibiotic ointment, clean towels, cortisone cream, etc.
5. Medications: Don’t forget to bring along any medication your dog is currently taking. Store it in a safe place.
6. Water & Water Bowls: You may want to bring bottled water from home to avoid possible digestive problems. Pack bowls from home or purchase travel bowls.
7. Toys: If you are taking a long trip, familiar toys can provide entertainment and comfort. Chew toys can help reduce anxiety.
8. Veterinary Records: Make sure all vaccinations are up to date and bring copies of current records along. Records are especially important if your dog has a history of medical issues. Your dog’s rabies tag should be attached to his collar.
9. Bedding: Take a familiar dog bed or blanket to keep your dog comfortable.
10. Leash and Collar: Pack an extra leash and collar set. As always, leash your dog before opening the car door and be sure to keep him leashed at all times just in case he tries to bolt.
11. Dog Waste Bags & Scooper: You will be glad you have them. A long car ride requires frequent “bathroom” breaks for your dog.
12. Restraint System: Use a dog seat belt, harness, or crate to help keep your dog safe. Get your pet accustomed to traveling that way before your long trip.
Be sure to have fun. A road trip is an adventure!
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