With the Holidays a few weeks away you might be taking your pet shopping with you or visiting family and friends for a weekend. Traveling with your pet, even short distances during the Holiday can be fun, but stressful for you and your pet. Driving with your dog in the back seat comes with responsibility, just like a child. Here are a few tips, not just for the Holidays but all year long.
Get Your Pet Ready
Contact or visit your local veterinarian for advice and maybe some medication for a long trip. If your pet will be in a crate during your trip, place the crate out in the open a few days in advance. Leave the gate open but place some of their favorite toys or treats inside. This signals your pet in advance there will be some changes coming. When you are ready to pack up to start your trip, make sure you bring those specific toys and treats with you.
To Bring or Not to Bring
Wherever you are traveling this season, get an idea of traffic routes and weather. Make sure there are stops along the way to take your dog out to stretch his or her legs. Be prepared for extreme weather changes as well. If you have to leave them in the car for long periods of time, don’t bring them at all. Both extreme heat and cold have tragic effects on animals left in a car unattended. Please bring doggie baggies to pick up any of their “presents” along the way.
Keep the windows shut. Sound mean? Not really, a dog with his head out the window might look cute, but flying garbage or dust particles can cause serious damage to your dog’s eyes. If you insist on having its head out the window, buy some doggie goggles.
Keep water in the car… You should pack a bowl and a bottle of water for any auto emergency or your dog gets overheated when taking a potty walk. I’ve seen some dog dishes you can fold up and put in your purse. You don’t need to use expensive water like Pellegrino or Perrier nor does it need to be cold.
Don’t leave home without a safety harness, just like a child safety seat. Each dog should have a car harness that allows a seat belt to buckle the dog in securely. Keep the dog in the back seat, deployed airbags can be just as dangerous for a dog as a child. If you chose to transport your dog in a crate, strapping the crate in to the seats securely is imperative. Either way, your animal is safe.
Kissing under the Mistletoe
Holiday plants that can be a threat to your pet’s health are lilies, holly ad mistletoe. Poinsettia plants might have a mild reaction, but not as severe as the ones I just listed. Just like alerting family ahead of time your child has a reaction to peanuts, you might want to give advance warning for your pet’s possible reaction.
When traveling with pets, I feel it is no different than a child as far as safety is concerned. We want to protect our pets as we do our children. Traveling with pets vs. children for the holidays has a few advantages; one being they can’t talk and ask every five minutes, “are we there yet?”
HAPPY HOLIDAYS AND SAFE TRAVELS