Schools are letting out for the summer, so it’s time for many to leave on a family vacation. If your family includes a dog that will be joining you on the road, be sure to pack the essentials.
- Food. Sudden changes in diet can lead to gas or diarrhea. Keeping your dog on a consistent diet by bringing food with you on your trip can save you and your dog from the smell and discomfort. There is also the worry of allergies. If you are unable to purchase a food your dog has tried before, you may see itching, scratching, vomiting, or other signs.
- Travel Bowls. While making stops at rest areas, a bowl is essential for providing fresh water for your dog. Many travel bowls fold or collapse for easier packing. (If your dog has a sensitive stomach, you may want to provide bottled water, or water from home.)
- Bed/Blanket. While riding in the car, and when you reach your final destination, provide your dog with a comfortable place to rest. Having a safe zone that smells like home can help relieve some of the stress of travelling to a new place.
- Crate/Travel Harness. Depending on your vehicle’s set up, a crate or travel harness, are the best options for safe travel. A crate should be secured in the rear of your vehicle. Travel harnesses are attached to your vehicle’s seat belt. A back seat is usually the safest location.
- Vaccine Certificate. Bring along a current copy of your dog’s vaccines. A rabies certificate and a rabies tag on the collar may be required at certain campgrounds. Attaching your dog license is a good added step.
- Medications. If your dog is on medications or supplements, bring enough for your entire trip, plus a few days, just in case of an emergency. Be sure to bring something to hide the pills in if your dog is picky. Peanut butter or Pill Buddies are great options that don’t require refrigeration. Consider packing Benadryl in your first aid kit. Check with your veterinarian for proper dosing.
- Current Picture. Have at least one clear picture of your dog with you. If your dog should become lost, you don’t want to waste time trying to get someone to send you a picture. With smart phones, this is much easier. Keeping one printed picture in the glove box along with the vaccine paperwork is also helpful.
Have a wonderful vacation with your entire family!