Traveling with your "best friends" is not hard. The biggest thing that we forget is to prepare and observe. We must prepare what our dogs will need for the trip and observe their needs and their environment while we are traveling. Here are some quick tips:
- Be sure that your dogs will have secure locations in the car. This can be a crate, leash/safety belt, or any other location where they will not "be propelled" in sudden stops "lane changes".
- Do a "practice pack" of the car ahead of time. This will assure that your dogs will actually have the space they need. Get your dogs into their "places" to make sure that they are comfortable with them.
- If your dogs aren't comfortable with car rides in general, start taking them on short rides to positively reinforce the experience.
- If you will be leaving your dogs at day cares along the way during your trip, be sure that their medical records are up to date. Be sure that you have up to date copies of their medical histories.
- Make sure that your dogs have collars that fit snugly and they have dog tags. If possible, make sure they are chipped and that the chip is working and up to date.
- Make sure that you exercise your dogs an hour or two before you start your trip so that they are ready for a good sleep. Feed them early enough so that they have already gone to the bathroom before the trip begins.
- Be sure that you have food, toys, leashes, training leads, goodies, etc. packed and easily accessible as your trip begins.
- Now that you are on the trip, stop every two or three hours to let them out to go to the bathroom and stretch their legs. Also, be sure to properly hydrate them during your daily drive.
- Call ahead to make sure that your hotel accepts dogs and try to get a first floor room. When you reach your hotel, take them out as quickly as possible to allow them exercise and the ability to go to the bathroom. Feed them early so that they have time to go to the bathroom before you turn in for the night.
- When you are not in the room, keep your dogs in their crate. This assures that they can't open the hotel door and "hit the town". It also assures if a hotel employee enters the room, there will be no issues. (Some crate socialization may be needed before this can take place. Your Bark Buster Trainer can help you with this issue.)
- Plan your "away from the room time" so that you aren't gone longer than they can "hold their potty". You might have to stagger your "away from the room time" by coming back to the room for a short period of time to handle their needs.
- Be sure to spend as much "non-car" time as possible with your dogs while you are on your trip. This will help to socialize your dogs with unique situations and help build the bond between you and them. While on our "college looking trip", our dogs joined several college tours. They loved the new sights and sounds and the college students loved to meet them.
For more information, please contact The Best Dog Trainers in South Florida.