Well, Haberdashery friends, after an indecisive spring, it seems that summer is finally upon us! For many of us, that means we'll be hitting the road again with our fabulous furry friends. (And by "furry friends," we mean dogs, not husbands!) Whether you’re headed to the beach, a mountainside camping trip, or some other relaxing destination, you’ll find that more and more places are catering to vacation-goers with pets. And why not? They’re part of the family, after all!
In this introductory blog post, we’ve compiled some useful tips to make your summer travel a safe and delightful experience for you and your pets. Let us know what you think, and please remember to share any other helpful ideas you have in the comments section below.
Before You Leave Home
What’s the best way to make your summer road trip an enjoyable experience for both you and your canine pal? Lots of planning and preparation! Before you go anywhere, you’ll want to make sure that all of your dog’s vaccinations are current. Depending on the duration of your trip and the health status of your dog, it may be necessary to make a quick trip to the vet’s office to ensure that everything is in good working order and that you have enough medications to last the duration of the vacation.
Before your departure, also be sure to research vets and emergency pet services along your route and at your destination, and remember to prepare a first aid kit and a folder with copies of your dog’s medical and vaccination records; if you end up having to make a surprise vet visit along your trip, you’ll want to have all the information you need right at your fingertips. Also check that your dog’s tags are current, and consider carrying a recent picture of your dog in case he or she gets loose (this is easy to do these days with our smartphones).
On the Road
Whether you’re driving long distances or short, you’ll want to make sure your pet is comfortable during the trip. To prevent car sickness, try not to feed your dog in the hours leading up to your departure; it’s best for your pup to travel on an empty stomach. For the safety of both you and your pet, restrain your dog in a crate or safety harness while in motion.
To keep your pet cool on the journey, remember to keep him hydrated, and consider using a window shade to protect him from harsh sunlight. And please, please, please remember never to leave your furry friend alone in a hot car, even in the shade. Dogs can’t regulate body temperature as efficiently as humans, and a few short minutes can be enough to endanger your dog’s life. Try to plan ahead as best as possible to avoid putting your pet in this dangerous situation. Be aware, too, that many states have enacted laws against leaving animals in cars under potentially harmful circumstances.
Wherever you’re planning to stay, be sure to call ahead to ensure that your pet will be welcome. Websites like bringfido.com and gopetfriendly.com are good places to start when finding hotels, campgrounds, restaurants, and other places that allow pets, but remember that these places can change their policies at any time. It’s always best to double check the rules, and remember that a lot of places request specifically that pets not be left unattended.
That brings us to an important point: you know your dog better than anyone (duh!), but even your tried and true friend can act a little unpredictably when put in an unfamiliar situation. We all know that an anxious dog can wreak absolute havoc on hotel furniture -- not to mention your fellow guests’ nerves -- and, even worse, they may even pose a potential danger to themselves. If you must leave your dog unattended in your hotel room, try not to do so for long, and consider using a crate and leaving some favorite toys, blankets, etc., to help alleviate boredom and/or anxiety.
Additionally, if you’re planning to stay in a hotel or other facility where other people may be entering your room at unexpected times, it’s a good idea to post a sign on your door that indicates there are pets inside your room. Not only is this courteous to hotel workers; it may also prevent your pets from escaping through an open door, and, in the case of a fire, rescuers will know to look for them.
I hope these tips serve as helpful reminders for your future road trips. For more ideas, we recommend visiting www.dogjaunt.com for a detailed checklist of what to pack when getting ready for your trip. We’ve also provided some links below to products that can make life a little simpler on the road.
Owner, The Hound Haberdashery
|Waterproof Backseat Pet Hammock
Spill-proof Water Container
with Built-In Bowl
|Adjustable Pet Seat Belt
|Pet First Aid Kit (Two Sizes Available)
Collapsible Food Bowls
|Doggie Car Organizer