Recently my dog Kensi and I took another road trip to the mountains of North Carolina. This is becoming an annual event for us. I rent a beautiful cabin and we go hiking every day. It really is my bliss, hanging out in the woods with my dog. But there is a stressful side to this travel with your dog thing, how do you keep your dog safe when you are on the road?
When You Travel, Secure Your Dog
If you have a smaller dog or a large SUV a hard-sided travel crate is a great way to keep your pet out of the front seat and secured safely in your vehicle. Make sure your crate is secured with seatbelt guides, ropes or bungee cords. It won’t do you or your pet much good if your crate isn’t secured and becomes a missile in your vehicle if there is an accident. A crate that is unable to move because it is tied down may also help your pet avoid motion sickness.
If your dog is large and a crate won’t fit in your car you can secure your dog with a harness that can be attached to the seatbelt in your car. While there are several car safety harnesses for dogs on the market only the Sleepypod Clickit Sport is certified by the Center for Pet Safety.
One thing is for certain, keep your dogs out of the front seat. You cannot drive safely with a dog on your lap and even a minor accident can cause airbags to deploy which could cause serious injury or death to your dog.
Update Your Dog’s Identification
If your dog isn’t already microchipped, he/she should be. Micro-chipping is relatively inexpensive ($25-$75) and will pay for itself and then some if it helps to get your dog safely back to you. Please make sure your details are up to date with the microchip company including your cell phone number. You can also add the number to where you will be staying while on your trip.
Make sure your dog’s identification tags are attached to their collar and have your current contact information including your cell phone number.
Pack a Travel Bag for Your Dog
When I travel with Kensi I pack a bag with all the things I think I might need for her on our trip. These include a pet first-aid kit, towels, favorite toys, preferred treats, an extra leash and harness, a mat for her to lay on. I like the Mutt Mat personally. It is easy to fold up and carry with you and it’s machine washable. I also take enough of her regular food to last the entire trip. The last thing I want to do is change her food (potentially upsetting her stomach) while we are on the road.
I love road tripping with Kensi and I think she enjoys it too. I hope you and your dog can get out on the road soon and have some fun.