Most people, when they have to go on a trip, will have a friend come over to watch their dogs. If they're going to be gone for a while, they may choose to board their dogs instead, dropping them off at a puppy motel where they can be looked after by professionals while still getting plenty of play time. However, in a world of roomy SUVs and pet-friendly hotels, there are a lot of people who just take their dogs on vacation with them. If you're thinking about joining that group, and making some great memories with your four-legged friend, there's a list of things you should make sure you pack before you pull out of the driveway. These tips are brought to you courtesy of Babble and How Stuff Works.
Thing #1: ID Tags and Papers
When you go on vacation, you bring your driver's license, your car insurance information, and all your contacts so you can get hold of the people back home. Your dog may not drive, or carry a wallet, but you should still make sure you have all your dog’s paperwork. That means ID tags on the collar, a microchip, and vet papers in case something happens and an emergency visit is necessary.
Thing #2: Travelling Water Dispenser
Keeping hydrated while you're on a long car trip is important, and it's just as important for your dog. You can't just put a bowl of water in the passenger foot well, and hope for the best. You can, however, install a traveling water dispenser that will make sure your pooch can drink without getting it all over your car. You'll still have to make regular bathroom stops, though, which is something you should definitely schedule on your itinerary.
Thing #3: Toys
Sometimes dogs are stalwart companions, gazing off into the horizon and helping plot a course for adventure. Sometimes they nap quietly, trying to fast-forward time to the next play-stop. A lot of the time, though, your dog is going to be bored. That's why it's a good idea to bring some toys from home. This has a double benefit in that it will stop your canine from getting bored, but also provide something familiar to help stave off any anxiety caused by the trip.
Thing #4: First Aid Kit and Medications
Most of us keep a first aid kit in our cars, just to be safe. Gauze pads, band airs, tweezers, and all those other handy tools are just as useful when it comes to pulling porcupine needles out of your dog's paw as they would be when dealing with a human injury. With that said, it's a good idea to pack a separate kit full of medicines that are approved for dog use, particularly disinfectants. Additionally, if your dog requires any particular medications, it's best to pack a little extra just to be sure you don't run out while you're away from home.
Thing #5: Food and Treats
Some of us are prone to drive straight through a road trip, subsisting purely on caffeine and bags of chips, with the occasional gas station hot dog. If you're driving with your dog, it is a good idea to consider your passenger's eating habits. If you have a regular meal time at home, it's important to try to preserve that, along with familiar food. And, if you want an incentive to get your dog to behave, it's a good idea to pack a bag of treats for a reward.
Have some fun and safe travels!