Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Tips for Traveling on the Road with an Older Dog

Road trips are a great way to spend some quality time with your pets. No matter what the destination may be, packing up your pooch and hitting the road is ripe with not only adventure, but also opportunities to bond.

For those with older dogs, you may be hesitant to brave the open road with your furry friend, but by taking a few extra precautions, you can ensure that you both have an awesome time.

Unlike puppies, older dogs are a little bit more settled, making them more easygoing and easier to deal with. However, like any pet, there are challenges to overcome, but for those eager to travel, bringing your dog along is definitely worth the effort.

Containment


Keeping your dog contained can be difficult, even when you’re not on vacation. Although your pup has surely been around the block a few times, an escape can prove fatal if you aren’t attentive. Whether in the car, at the hotel or elsewhere, making sure your dog is properly contained is a crucial part of any road trip.

  • If you’re taking a weekend camping trip, or plan on spending some time in the great outdoors, a wireless dog fence is a convenient and portable way to keep your dog from scampering off too far and getting into trouble.

  • Crating your dog while on the road is highly recommended, since it lessens the potential for injury in case of an accident or abrupt stop. It’s also far less distracting if your dog is crated as opposed to roaming around the car.

  • However, if your dog is crated, make sure to make frequent stops for him to stretch his legs and avoid stiffening up while on the road.


Comfort


Comfort on a road trip can be hard to come by for anyone. Cramped conditions in the car or hotel rooms that leave something to be desired, as well as crowded tourist attractions all await those eager to brave the open road. But, whether you’re furry or not, being comfortable on a road trip is possible, so long as you plan ahead.

  • Bring as many familiar toys and blankets as you can so that your dog feels more at home. It may take up a lot of storage space, but it will be worth packing the extra bags.

  • Don’t feed your dog too much right before you hit the road. This can cause him to get sick during the drive, and in the end, is just another mess for you to clean up.

  • Avoid exposing your dog to too much sunlight. Utilize shade whenever possible and always keep water handy in case he starts feeling dehydrated.


Breaks


Breaks for your dog are just as important, if not more so, than they are for you. Depending on the quality of his bones and joints, a lengthy walk around the hotel, down the beach or around the boardwalk can prove quite painful for an older dog. If you plan on spending a lot of your trip on foot, make sure that you take frequent breaks, at least for your dog’s sake.

  • Road trips are stressful for everyone. If you and your dog start showing signs of fatigue, don’t be afraid to take a little break to relax your nerves and temper.

  • While out and about, distractions are aplenty. This can be overwhelming for both you and your dog, so, if you two are feeling overstimulated, find a spot off the main drag and grab some solitude.

  • Do not, under any circumstances, push your dog any harder than necessary. It can be harmful to his health and can turn even the most joyous of road trips into an unmitigated disaster.


Road trips with your dog are surely worth celebrating. They give you a chance to soak up new places, new faces and even new smells. Although not always the most pleasant of experiences, traveling is almost always worth a headache or two. But, with some extra planning up front, you can do away with a lot of stress and enjoy some quality time with your dog.

 

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