“To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring — it was peace.” ~Milan Kundera
Are you off to find that hillside with your dog? Here are 12 Things You Must Know Before Traveling With Dogs and a fun bonus tip.
1. Make sure your their vaccinations are up to date
Make sure your dog is up to date on vaccinations, including rabies and distemper, and is up to date on heart-worm medication. It is also a good idea to pack proof of current vaccinations just in case.
2. Take your dog for long rides in the car
Take your dog for long rides in the car. Get him used to staying where you want him, or riding in his crate. You also want to be sure they don’t get car sick.
3. Your dog should understand and obey basic commands
Your dog should understand and obey basic commands, come, stay, and leave it. Leave it can be an important command if he finds “something” while on a walk or hike.
4. Take any bedding your dog might need
Take any bedding your dog might need, including a pad or pillow and tarp to go under it. Take his food and water bowls.
5. Take enough of the food he eats at home
Take enough of the food he eats at home and maybe a bit more. A trip can be stressful, so don’t change his food.
6. Pack water for stops along the way
Pack water for stops along the way. Don’t let your dog drink standing water.
7. Know what the pet rules are along the route
Be sure the places you plan to stay along your route allow pets and what the rules for pets are. Some places specify no off leash pets or the length of leash allowed.
8. Your dog needs effective flea and tick medication
Your dog needs effective flea and tick medication. Packing a tick key and a brush is a good idea.
9. If your dog is not already microchipped, consider getting this done before your trip
If your dog is not already microchipped, consider getting this done before your trip. At the very least he needs a strong, fitted collar with ID tags to wear at all times. Add a flashing red light that hangs on his collar so he is visible at night.
10. Don’t forget pet waste bags
Don’t forget pet waste bags and, if needed, a smell-proof bag container.
11. Take a doggy first aid kit
12. Bring his favorite treats and a few toys.
Bring his favorite treats and a few toys. You will want to reward him when he is good. A favorite toy to play with may distract him and deter bad behavior.
BONUS TIP: If you will be hiking, teach your dog to carry his own gear in a pack.
If you will be hiking, teach your dog to carry his own gear in a pack. Make sure the pack fits without rubbing or pinching him. Put most of the weight (the water) low and forward, over the dog’s shoulders. Don’t put anything in there that can’t get banged around, shaken up and soaked in water.
These tips for traveling with your dog will keep you both happy while on the road. Go find that hill.