Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Have Dog Will Travel

Lets talk about "Traveling with your Dog" today.

My dogs love to travel as much as I do, so I can’t bear to put them in a kennel when I go away.

Setting up a comfortable space in the car for your dog is key.
Even if your dog is usually a welcome lap companion, after a few hours neither of you will be very comfortable.

I have a flannel dog bed that I set up in the back or on the floor, as well as a few blankets from home. Familiar smells seem to make the dogs more at ease.
I usually bring a few stuffed toys along for the same reason, although they have yet to play with them.

Neither of my dogs will eat their kibble while traveling. Don’t worry if they don’t have much of an appetite.

For extra long trips:
· I usually bring soft treats, such as artificial bacon or sausage. These are too delicious to resist, even on a nervous stomach.

· Be sure to have water and a bowl available; dogs can get very thirsty in the car, especially during the summer.

· There are several fabric collapsible bowls on the market that pack easily. I occasionally forget to bring a bowl; in that case, a Styrofoam cup from the gas station will do.

Since they don’t eat or drink much on the road, my dogs don’t need many potty breaks. Taking them out when I have to use the bathroom seems to suit them just fine. Many rest stops have a special area reserved for dogs. They need to be on a leash in these situations. Gas stations don’t normally provide such an area, but they usually have a grassy spot a good distance from the pumps. Carrying plastic bags and cleaning up after your dog is good etiquette.

Never, ever leave your dog in a hot car with the windows up. Even a few minutes in this situation can lead to brain damage.
If it’s necessary to leave them for a while, be sure to park in the shade, leave the windows cracked, and return quickly. Leaving dogs in the car is not only dangerous; it is punishable by law in some states.

You surely don't want your lovely dog turn into "Hotdog".

We shall talk more about Precautions and Planning for Traveling With your Dog tomorrow.

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