So you’re ready for a big adventure on the road. You have chosen who to entrust your apartment with while you’re away. You’ve picked the best route that will give you the most beautiful scenery and places of interest. You’ve had the car you bought from a bad-credit car dealership tuned up, ready to hit the highway. What’s left for you to do is to talk to your doggo about your plans and how you want them to join in on the fun.
Unfortunately, your dog won’t be able to respond. They cannot tell you whether they are ready for the road or not. Yes, it is up to you to decide. Thankfully, there are ways to know if your beloved canine companion is fit for the big adventure you have in mind. Here are things to consider.
The only humane way to train a dog is via positive reinforcement. That’s where you use treats, praises, and gestures of love and kindness to teach a dog tricks or get them to follow certain commands. Ideally, before you head out for your big adventure, your pup already knows the basics.
Commands that will come in handy for your travel include sit, stay, or stop. You do not want to be driving along a busy highway while your dog on the passenger seat can’t keep still. That can get you in trouble.
Make sure your pup’s vaccination is on schedule. That is for their own safety. Also, for the safety of those that they’ll encounter along the way. You won’t be able to stop people from petting your cute furry friend. If, in any case, your dog goes berserk and lands a bite onto a well-meaning stranger’s arm, at least you can assure that stranger that there’s nothing to worry about. You can show them your dog’s vaccination receipts.
Your dog needs to get vaccinated against the rabies virus, canine distemper, canine parainfluenza, and bordetella bronchiseptica, among others. Get them inoculated against COVID-19, too, for added safety.
Your dog’s health
Just because your dog’s received all essential vaccines does not equate to them being completely healthy. Before taking your pup on a road trip, it is best to visit the vet to see if there’s anything wrong with your canine companion. Keep in mind that not all dogs obviously manifest symptoms of illnesses. Some of them have a knack for disguising any physical discomfort they are feeling.
Your adventure will be more fun if you and your pup remain in tiptop shape throughout. Any medical emergency will ruin what’s supposed to be a joyful trip.
Your planned itinerary
Not all hotels or motels welcome pets. Make sure that when you plan your itinerary, you put this into consideration. Unless you and your dog are happy campers and you don’t mind sleeping in the car for consecutive nights, better book pet-friendly accommodations in advance. That way, you do not have to worry about where to spend the night while driving.
Check with the places of interest you plan to visit as well. If you’re not amenable to leaving your pup at your hotel room while you’re exploring a town or city, better prioritize museums, parks, and other attractions that’ll welcome your canine companion gladly.
Before hitting the road, stock up on doggy essentials. Start with your pup’s food. Include treats in your stash. Make sure you have enough supply to last until the next town or city where you can replenish. Check your dog’s collar and leash. See if they need to be replaced.
Ideally, you’ve had your dog microchipped. If that’s not the case, go to an animal clinic that offers the procedure. You have nothing to worry about since it’s a non-invasive surgery. Your pup will barely feel a thing. And once it’s done, what you gain is peace of mind.
Traveling with your doggo allows you two to share an extraordinary experience. But before you head out, make sure you’ve thoroughly assessed your plans from every angle imaginable. Ideally, you have your dog’s safety and comfort as a top priority. If you’re taking your pup with you so you do not get bored on the road and you’ll have a source of entertainment at your disposal, you’re probably motivated by the wrong reasons.
Remember that your canine companion is not a toy. They are a living, breathing, sentient being that could get traumatized should an unfortunate incident happen on the road. Safeguard your pup from such a threat by taking to heart the considerations listed above.