We all love day trips – short, fun “mini-adventures” that we can share with our family and friends. Most people leave their dog behind because they can be a nuisance and it can just be too much like hard work. But it doesn’t need to be that way. Now that summer is truly with us, put these pointers in place and you’ll find your trip will be more fun and your dog will love you all the more for it:
Pooch Pointer 1–Don’t feed your dog before or during the trip
Dogs get travel sickness a lot, and nothing will spoil your day more than the smell of dog vomit. It’s very yucky! If you must treat him or her, just a few dry snacks; nothing too fatty. Fatty treats will only upset your dog’s tummy.
Pooch Pointer 2–Caution for your Carsick Canine
If you have a vomit-monster, try a few drops of lavender oil on his collar or bedding. This will help keep him relaxed. Also, practice taking your dog out on short trips so he gets used to travelling in the car, too.
Pooch Pointer 3–HYDRATE!
Be sure to carry extra water bottles and containers. You probably already have them in your car, if you travel with your dog regularly, but these can sometimes be left behind or even broken. Always have a least two bowls and two bottles of fresh water for your dog to drink. This is important if you plan to be away for a long period of time or if you’re going somewhere and you’re not sure if fresh water will be available.
Pooch Pointer 4–Take a spare leash and collar
Dogs love to run and pull, and nothing will spoil a day trip than a broken collar or a lost leash.
Pooch Pointer 5–Pack plenty of towels
Dogs love to jump into puddles, creeks and ponds. They love to swim and frolic and the smellier the water, the better! Plus, they are such generous creatures, they’ll want to share that stink all over the car and on everyone sitting in it! Taking old towels or even old bed sheets will help “contain” slime, vomit, slobber, dirt and mud.
Pooch Pointer 6–Secure your dog well in the car while traveling
Accidents can and do happen and you don’t want to add to the danger by having anything unsecured in your car, including your dog. Use a specially designed harness or a crate to keep your dog safe while traveling.
Pooch Pointer 7–Practice basic recall training regularly
Nothing will spoil your day out more than a five-hour search for the dog in a strange place. Recall training does take time, but it will ensure your dog comes back when you call it. In fact, dogs who behave well in public are ones who have undergone some sort of obedience training. They understand that they must listen and spoken to by their owners. This doesn’t mean you have to be cruel. Positive, reward based training yields much greater results than harsh training methods which destroy trust.
Spending time with your dog is a great way to strengthen the bond you share, get some much needed exercise and explore new and exciting places together.