How to Travel Safely with Your Bully
Best Practices and Safety Tips
Traveling with your furry little friends includes a lot more than just loading the dog in the back seat and taking off. Large travel distances can be especially stressful for the pups. Proper safety habits, as well as a few more items are required in order to keep your companion safe. Due to various law regulations in different states, you should always check what’s necessary to carry pets in the areas that you are traveling.
What if your dog never set a leg in the car before the trip, or has been driving just to the local veterinary clinic and back? In that case, you need to prepare the pooch for the upcoming adventure. Preparing means that you need to take him on a series of drives before the trip. Start with shorter driving periods and prolong the time day by day. During the preparations take the exact same security measurements while making the big trip, so that your dog can get used to the conditions.
There are two practical ways you can ensure the safety and well-being of your dog inside the car. One way is to get soft-sided, plastic or wire mesh carriers that fit in your car. The other way is to purchase pet restraints and belts for car travel. This very much depends on the space inside the vehicle and the number of dogs you are taking with you. For larger breeds it’s better to use pet belts and restraints. If you opt for carriers, you should get a size-fit in which the pup can easily turn around, lie down, stand, and sit. The carrier has to be properly ventilated and securely fixed so it won’t slide or shift. In cases when the dog isn’t used to staying in a carrier, you should practice that at home as well before the trip.
The last thing to do before the travel starts is feeding the dogs approximately 3-4 hours prior to departure. The meal should be light and small in quantity. It’s never smart to feed animals during the journey because they can easily start feeling nauseous and vomit.
Make a Checklist
There are some essential items for the dog that you should bring. Make a smart move by preparing a checklist so you won’t leave anything behind. We mentioned the first required items – carriers and pet security belts, which are a priority and regulated by law. While on the legal side, you should take the dog’s travel papers, pet-passport, and rabies vaccination records. If your dog/dogs don’t have a microchips or collars with your information written on them, now is the time to get this done before in case they get lost.
The essential item list consists of food, water, food and water bowls, a leash, plastic bags, a waste scooper, grooming supplies, any medications they might be taking, and a pet first-aid kit. Taking bottled water is of the utmost importance, because when you change locations the chemical and microbiological properties of the water is different than your place of residence. If you let your dog drink from an unknown source this can easily cause digestive upsets. Always bring bottled water just in case. Moreover, pack Buddy’s favorite toy and pillow so he can feel more like he’s at home.
What Not To Do
The most obvious thing to do that will prevent your dogs from getting injured, is to stick to driving regulations and speed limits. Avoid driving too fast and making quick stops. In most cases of car accidents, pets experience injuries twice as severe as humans do.
When you park the car never leave the animal inside, no matter if the windows are open or not. During hot summer days, a dog locked up in a car is minutes away from a heat stroke. In winter, the refrigerated vehicle can cause the animal to freeze.
Never let your dog leave the carrier or the back seat and come towards you. This is dangerous both for the dog and the driver. Allowing your dog to stick his head outside the window with his tongue flying around will sure make some great photos, but this is one of the things a responsible owner should prevent. There is a high risk of a flying object injuring the dog. The dog might even get the urge to jump outside when some distraction occurs.
Following the above mentioned Pet Safety Traveling Tips will help keep both you and your dog(s) safe when traveling both near and far in your vehicle. Also traveling with the necessary essentials with help to make the trip a smooth experience for both the dog(s) and the owner. Good luck out there. See you on the road!