12 Jun The Traveling Dog Blog
Just can’t leave Fido behind on your next business trip or vacation? We can help you keep your dog happy and healthy on the road.
Several popular studies suggest that living with animals contributes to peace of mind and overall happiness. A similar research experiment found that, when you’re under great anxiety, having your dog in the room lowered blood pressure better than taking a popular type of blood pressure medication (ACE inhibitor). On the flip side, wouldn’t it make sense that you’d lose some of that zen feeling if your favorite pet can’t accompany you?
The American Association for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Fodor’s Travel, and PETA recommend a few handy measures that will ensure pet happiness in transit and travel.
On the go:
- Keep heads and paws inside. “Your dog may enjoy sticking his head out of the window, but riding like this could cause ear damage or expose your pet to lung infections,” according to the ASPCA.
- Get your pet ready by taking several shorter trips first. Gradually lengthen time in the car to acclimate pets to longer adventures.
- If you’re crossing state lines, make sure you pack some vaccination records. You never know when you might need them.
- Feed your pet a few hours before takeoff instead of providing food on-the-go. Their digestion and perhaps your car’s carpet will thank you.
- Keep them well hydrated. ASPCA recommends toting a gallon of cold water for every road trip.
- Never leave your precious cargo alone in a vehicle. According to the Humane Society, “when it’s 80 degrees Fahrenheit outside, the temperature inside your car can heat up to 99 degrees Fahrenheit within 10 minutes.” Also note: “Rolling down windows has shown to have little impact on the temperature of the car.”
At the hotel:
- NEVER assume that your dog will be invited into the hotel you reserved; instead, make sure you do your pre-trip research. Here’s a handy guide on the hotels that welcome animals.
- According to Fodor’s, even well-intentioned “pet friendly” hotels may not account for animals that need ample walking spaces. Ask the hotel staff what kind of exercise space your animals will have well in advance. If nothing else, see if there are parks nearby in case of tight quarters.
- Get a ground-floor room. If you’re on a higher level, your pet’s nails can make noise on an upstairs floor and upset the downstairs neighbors. Not to mention the noises in the stairwell from your pet’s early morning potty trips.
- According to PETA, Dogs love healthy routines, and you still have to keep this in mind away from home. Provide regular walks, playtime, access to fresh water at all times, and food. To avoid digestive problems, try to give your pet the foods he/she is used to eating in your home. Dogs get the same uncomfortable traveler’s stomach that people get when exposed to new foods.
- In case of Illness or Injury: The American Animal Hospital Association (1-800-883-6301) can refer you to a local veterinarian. Get prepared by asking your dog’s veterinarian for a reference in that area before you go. Print a map from the Internet and take it on your trip so you can get fast in an emergency.
- Microchipped your buddy? If not, make sure you have some form of ID on your pooch–including a name, your home address, and two contact numbers.
Dog Days of Summer