Monday, March 23, 2015

Roadtripping with Dogs

The Wanderer and I have two dogs, Scarlet and Inigo. Scarlet has been on several long road trips. Inigo is still fairly young and has only traveled to my sisters house just over an hour away, and back.

Tip 1. No food or drink with in an hour of travel. Some dogs get upset tummy's while traveling. Momma Wanderer's Yorkie once threw up for the first hour of a 3 hour trip. It wasn't pretty.

Tip 2. Before you get in the car, let the dogs have a good long walk to stretch their legs.

Tip 3. Just like with children, the safest place for the dog is in the middle of the backseat. If you have a carrier that you can secure with the seat belt, use it. In all honesty we don't usually follow this tip. Inigo whimpers if he isn't laying on my lap, Scarlet likes laying in her doggy bed. If we were ever in a wreck this wouldn't be good.

Tip 4. Book your room in advance, and confirm that they allow pets. Most places have certain rules that apply to pets, like weight limits, cages, etc. We rented a cabin in the mountains a few years ago, between booking the cabin and arriving to check in they changed their pet policy. Thankfully they honored the original agreement and allowed us to stay with Miss Scarlet.

Tip 5. Make frequent stops. The dogs will need to stretch their legs and take potty breaks, probably more often than you are use to when traveling. Try to avoid stopping on the side of busy interstates the noise and wind from passing cars and semi's can scare your pet.

Tip 6. If you are not keeping your pet in a carrier while driving, consider leashing the dog and looping the leash through a seat belt when exiting the vehicle. More than once while traveling I have encountered families distraught over losing a beloved pet while trying to exit their vehicle. Even well behaved dogs will sometimes try to make a break for it when the car door opens. Don't rely solely on someone in the car being able to hold the dog back.

Tip 7. Lock your windows. A curious dog looking out the window could easily roll down the window and fall out! Inigo is notorious for trying to roll the window down. The imagine of the dog cruising down the road with his head out this window, ears flapping in the breeze may be iconic, but its just not safe. We have Shih Tzus. Shih Tzu eyes are very sensitive, prone to drying out, and easily damaged. We don't risk debris flying into their precious little eyes.

Things not to do:
1.) Leave your dog unattended in the car, the temperature inside a car can reach dangerous levels very quickly.
2.) Let your dog drive your car. May seem like a good idea at the time, but dogs are easily distracted.
3.) Put your dog in a carrier on the tow hitch. To much wind, debris, to hot when the car is stopped in traffic, its just a big no.
4.) Drag your dog behind the car Griswold style.