The long weekend is always a time for great family fun and is a great chance to get away for a couple of days. Taking the family dog is always a treat when you travel, keeping the entire family together can reduce stress as well. However, the crowded highways and rest areas on a long weekend will mean that tensions may rise.
One of the first things you must learn about how to travel with pets is that you must keep their needs in mind at all times. The highways are going to be crowded, traffic is going to be hectic and people are going to be in a hurry to get to their destination. Expect to experience delays and remember to stretch your legs regularly and take your pet for a walk at designated rest areas. If there are other pets around, keep a close eye on their behavior around your dog. If your dog begins to get agitated due to crowds and the bright lights of the traffic keep these stops quick and get back in the car.
It’s essential to give your pet the chance to exercise during these trips. When you have pets on the go, they are every bit as cooped up in the car as you are. The best option is to locate a dog park where they can go for a run and use up their energy. Download a quality app that will help you find pet friendly areas is an essential part of traveling with pets, and will save you a lot of time and angst.
When you do have pets on the go, you need to be aware of your dog’s comfort levels. You are taking your dog to a strange place, full of strange objects, and you will be their only source of comfort when something scary happens. Before you leave, pack your dog’s favorite bedding. This will create a sense of home for the dog at your destination. Include plenty of toys as well. Pack an extra collar and leash and make sure your dog’s tags have all the current information on them. Always bring enough food and water from home for the entire trip.
Remember, while you are in the car keep your dog confined to the back seat at all times. A dog loose in the front of the car can block your view or get between your feet and the pedals, causing you to have an accident. Your dog should be restrained in a cage or seat belt holder in the back seat, and the leash should always be attached to the dog’s collar, even when the car is moving. This lessens the chances of your dog escaping when you open the door and will help bring everyone home from the long weekend safely.