Holiday Travel with Fido... How to travel well with your furry friend.
The holiday season is upon us! Although Eva’s Play Pups Countryside Dog Camp offers boarding services and our staff loves to care for your pup, we recognize that many dog owners prefer to take their furry children with them on their holiday travels to see friends and family. Road tripping with your dog is fun, but it can also become stressful if you are not well prepared. Here are some tips for stress free and safe holiday travel with your pooch from the Eva’s Play Pups staff. We all love to travel with our pups and we would like to share our safe and stress free travel trips with our clientele.
Use Safe Walking Gear Properly
It is so important to make sure that you have safe dog walking gear on your pup. We can not stress the importance of this enough. The last thing you ever want to happen is to have your best friend slip the collar in a rest stop along a busy highway, hours from your home!
So what is “safe gear” and how do you use it?
Use a FLAT collar with your pups ID tags on it. Be sure to include your cell phone numbers on the ID!
Hook your pup to a well fitted martingale collar or a harness IN ADDITION TO the flat collar. Should your dog get out of martingale or harness, at least there are proper ID tags on the flat collar.
Make sure your dog is microchipped and that the microchip information is up to date with proper contact phone numbers. We don’t like to think about it but if the worst should happen and your poor pooch gets lost, whoever finds your best buddy can get in contact with you and return your BFF.
Consider a GPS collar and plan. It is a really cool option - especially for a dog parent with an escape artist for a dog. We highly recommend a GPS collar for those types of pups but it is great even for dogs who normally do not leave their owners side. You never know how a pup will react to changes in their environment during travel and even the calmest and most loyal furry companion, could suddenly get stressed and run away from his/her owner. However, If you have a GPS collar on your pooch, you can simply use your Smartphone to track down your furry friend. What a relief!
Print Those Adorable Photos
It is a great idea to bring a couple of good clear photos of Fido with you should something unexpected happen and you need to make a “Lost Dog” flyer. We always think “it won’t happen to me” - but you just never know - and if it does, you want to be prepared to take action quickly!
Keep It Current!
Make sure your pup is up to date on all vaccinations and bring the vet records along on the trip should you have to take him/her to see a vet during your travels. Some veterinarians will not treat a dog unless they see that he/she is up to date on all vaccinations (especially Rabies).
It is also wise to make a note of the phone numbers and addresses for veterinary emergency hospitals along the route you are travelling (as well as at your destination) should a medical emergency arise. You should also be sure to have your regular veterinarian’s name and phone number stored in your phone. This way, should your pup need medical care during your trip, you are prepared with necessary information readily on hand.
Bring a Crate
Some dogs love to travel in cars while others get very stressed and move around way to much. For safety reasons, should your pooch fall into the “stressed” category of furry travelers, a crate makes for much safer driving. You don’t want Fido to jump in your lap while you are on the NJ Turnpike!
In addition, a crate will also come in handy once you have reached your destination. For your pup’s sanity and safety, you will want to be able to put him/her in a crate away from the holiday madness. Picture Christmas with the whole family, children hyped up on sugar tearing around the house, guests unknowingly leaving doors to the streets wide open and Uncle Larry who insists he knows how to train stubborn dogs and keeps pushing poor Fido’s butt to the ground while hollering “SIT!!” YIKES!!! This could end badly in so many ways - so give your best furry friend a break and put him in a crate away from the lovely chaos that is holidays with the family!
Consider a Sitter
Should you pup not enjoy holidays with the family, find a trusted house sitter or kennel to care for your him/her. This might be safest option for everyone, even though you will miss your pooch like crazy. However not having to worry about Fido getting lost, nipping at Uncle Larry or eating the holiday ham, might make for a less stressful Christmas for you and your fur baby.
Here’s some more advice from Eva’s Play Pups Staff when traveling by car with FIDO:
*If a shorter trip, avoid car sickness by having your dog travel on empty stomach.
*Cerenia is an excellent anti-nausea medication should your dog suffer from car sickness. It should be given one hour before travel.
*Make sure the car is well ventilated. Dogs can not sweat and cool down like humans. Warm temperatures that are comfortable for us, might be too hot for your dog. Put on an extra layer of sweaters and let Fido ride in cool comfort.
*Make sure dog walking gear is safely attached to FIDO when stopping for potty breaks.
*Never ever leave you pup in a closed vehicle during summer season. It might not seem so hot to us humans, but a car heats up faster than you would ever imagine in sunlight and, again, dogs don’t tolerate heat as well as humans do.