Many people think that owning a dog, especially a large dog, means the end of carefree traveling. That is so untrue! It is all about planning in advance and having a bit of patience. If I can go on a road trip with a 40kg Rottweiler (oh yes, you read right) you can easily do it too.
- Visit your VET a couple of days before you leave to make sure your four-legged friend is in good health and up to date on vaccinations.
- Make sure you book a pet friendly hotel and give them a call to let them know the size and breed. They need to know in advance to make any arrangements needed.
- If you don’t already have a tag, make sure you get one before you leave. The dog’s name & your contact numbers are obligatory and absolutely necessary. Better safe than sorry.
- Bring along the passport and any other documents that verify the dog’s health condition.
- Make sure you’ve tried it before. If it’s the first time you travel with your pooch, you might want to give it a try beforehand. Try short rides around the city and see how they react.
- If your dog has allergies, like my Kiara, remember to take the needed injections/medication with you.
- Make sure to bring a leash and plastic bags for the waste. Also, don’t forget a first aid kit.
- Bring a sufficient amount of food for the duration of the trip.
- Bring their water bowl. They drink water more easily from their own bowl than straight from a bottle, tap, plastic glass or any random bowl.
- Feed the dog minimum 4 hrs before the trip to prevent any sickness. If the trip is too long and your dog isn’t nauseous, give them small snacks or treats to keep them happy and trick their hunger.
- Take your dog for a run or a big walk before the trip. They are calmer if they’re a bit tired and they are more likely to sleep over the trip.
- Use a window shade for the back windows, unless the weather has you wearing a jacket. Your dog always wears a “coat”, so try to protect them from the heat and the excess sun as much as possible.
- Make sure your pet is in a travel crate or in the back seat in a harness attached to the seat buckle. In my case, I have a customized boot and I prefer having her there since she is used to it.
- Take frequent pit stops. One every 3 hrs for 5-10 minutes. It is perfect for the dog to “use” the bathroom and stretch its legs. Good for the driver too.
- NEVER leave the dog alone in the car when it’s hot outside. If you travel alone though and you really have to use the WC, stop in a gas station, make sure you park in the shade, leave the window open, let an employee know that you have a pet so to keep an eye on and make it fast. Really fast. Less than 5 minutes. Have in mind that you risk your dog’s life every second it’s left alone. A heatstroke can develop within 10 minutes.
- Bring along the pet’s bed. It is easier for your buddy to relax and sleep in the usual place.
I hope this helped a bit and wish you a pleasant time with your fluffy four-legged! <3