Pet-friendly hotels and restaurants are popping up everywhere, but do you know what it actually takes to go on vacation with your pet? Here are 9 things you need to consider before heading out on that roadtrip with your pooch.
Every travel-loving paw parent has dreamt of vacationing with their pooch. But, before you plan a road with your dog, there are some tips, tricks, and cautions you must keep in mind. A fellow dog-mommy weighs in.
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Before COVID-19, we would go on road trips with our dogs at least twice a year and those would be some of the best trips! I have an 11-year-old Labrador, an eight-year-old Cocker Spaniel, and a six-year-old Golden Retriever, and—needless to say—travelling with the three together in the car is a task! But, over the years, we’ve learnt a lot about how to calm them down and make the whole experience safe, fun, and comfortable
As you start mapping out your road trip, be sure to take note of what you need to prep:
Have a bag with their essential items: their favourite treats and toys; a lightweight T-shirt, if you’re travelling with small dogs or senior dogs; a packet of pet wipes to clean muddy paws; a hairbrush and towel; and—most importantly—a first-aid kit.
While preparing the car for your dog, use a soft blanket or mat to line the seat as the drive can be long. Inside the car, avoid a leash. Put a collar or harness on your dog instead. Leash them only for toilet breaks. If you drive an SUV and the seats can be pulled out, adjust the rear seats to make more space for movement.
Feed your dogs at least two-three hours before the ride to avoid any motion sickness. Add a few drops of essential lavender oil in a tissue and put it in the AC vent of your car to calm excited dogs.
Carry a pet travel water bottle to keep them hydrated during the drive. These bottles also help avoid spills in the car.
5. Food during stay
Research about the place you’re staying at. Always check with the hotel or resort beforehand if they provide fresh meals and if there are any restrictions. As a backup, always carry a big jar of oats which can be mixed with yoghurt, fresh fruit or boiled chicken (order it at the hotel) for emergency meals. Carry your dog’s bowls for familiarity.
Ensure your dog gets a good long walk before the car ride. This will not only ensure that she or he doesn’t need frequent breaks, but will also help them expend some energy before the drive.
Avoid driving at a high speed—remember, you have kids in the backseat! If your dog is not comfortable with road trips, driving fast may lead to nausea. While driving through greener, traffic-free areas, roll down the windows and let your dog (and yourself!) enjoy the nature. If this is their first road trip, be sure to familiarise your dog with your car before the journey with a few short drives.
If you’re planning to take your dog on outdoor excursions like hikes or riverside walks, carry a handy bag with a first aid kit, a towel to dry them and an extra harness or leash.
9. First Aid
Include a bottle of liquid Betadine for wounds, any medication that they may be taking, cotton swabs, a digestive aid medicine (as prescribed by your vet), tweezers, small scissors, ear drops, wipes, self-adhesive tape and a feeding syringe.
Preeti Sood is the Founder of PoochMate, a one-of-a-kind pet accessory brand in India which aims at becoming 100 per cent sustainable.
This story first appeared on TravelandLeisure India.