With the holiday season here, many will be traveling to spend time with their family and friends. Whether you’re flying or driving, you’re probably going to find yourself in new surroundings. So, think about what will be necessary to help keep your dog safe during your holiday travels.
Practical Tips on Traveling with Your Puppy During the Holidays
Keep your pup calm and comfortable
Not all dogs like to travel. Some even get a little confused and distressed about the change. Dogs adore habit. They enjoy waking up in their familiar bed, eating at the same time, and using the same bathroom every day. For this reason, the changes that travel presents can make your dog a little uncomfortable.
During your travels, consider natural sedatives to keep them calm. Of course, always consult with your veterinarian before giving your dog any medications. It is your primary goal to make sure that your dog stays safe. Some dogs enjoy traveling, but may quickly become anxious and move around the vehicle (pacing) wondering why you aren’t going to the dog park today, which is why you need to make sure they’re secured during the journey.
Buckle your dog up
For dogs that are accustomed to traveling around with you, the use of dog safety belts – preferably ones that latch into the vehicle harness rather than tethering to another portion of the vehicle – is a great place to start. Just be sure that the harness doesn’t chafe them or give them too much room to move (such as allowing them to fall down between the seats and get stuck).
Of course, there’s also your vehicle to consider. Leather seats can be slippery for a dog, presenting an unstable sitting spot for the journey. A mat or a thick towel will help provide them with traction and keep your seat scratch-free.
One of the best ways to keep your dog safe is to put them in their crate, with the added advantage that it gives them a sense of security and familiarity. Unlike when using a safety harness, they can lie down and get comfortable during the trip. Plus they can play with a few toys that won’t fall down between the seats during the drive.
Keep a schedule
During your travels, dogs will still need to potty and eat just like you. Before you leave, feed them and give them plenty of time to take care of their potty business. Avoid feeding them too much while on the road, since safe potty areas won’t always be available.
Because your dog will inevitably need to go at some point, especially on a long trip, choose your potty areas wisely. Stay away from heavy traffic and open parking lots. These areas are commonly filled with debris and dangers, including broken glass and trash (you never know what your dog might pick up or stand on). Before opening any doors, be sure that your dog is on their leash, just in case they spot something that strikes their curiosity. And don’t remove their leash until they are secured in the vehicle again.
Plan an Airline friendly travel
Flying with your dog can be difficult these days, especially with all the rules and regulations. Keep in mind that not all airlines will permit dogs on board. Additionally, certain size and breed restrictions will apply.
Smaller dog breeds can sometimes make it into the cabin with you permitted they are small enough to fit in a crate under the seat. Also, remember that airlines reserve the right to reject any dog that they deem “aggressive” or unfit for air travel. So, before you make any arrangements, check out if your dog will be allowed to join you on the trip.
Prepare your dog for different environmental conditions
One thing to consider, especially during the holiday season, is the variable weather conditions you’ll be facing. While it might be warm and cozy in the car, the outside can be quite different. Snow, rain, and wind are all going to make it a lot cooler, so be sure that you’re ready for the unexpected.
Will your dog be warm when you let them out to potty? Will they stay dry? Some dog snow boots, a sweater, or a rain poncho might be wise additions to your travel kit. Consider where you’re going to be passing through and check weather forecasts when preparing essentials for your dog’s safety on the road.
Safety is the topic when traveling this holiday season, especially for your four-legged companion. The road will always present you with the unexpected, but as long as you and your dog are prepared, the journey is going to be an adventure that you both will remember.
Keeping up with your pet supplies can be just another thing you don’t want to have to remember. After a long day at work and going to the store, the last thing you want to do is have to go “to the store” again. Consider home delivery of your pet supplies!