Meeting a friend on our trip; Luke and Elsa sit patiently in the back.
With the Holiday season upon us, many of you will be traveling more often and bringing your dog along too. I've travelled with my dogs a lot and through it I've learned a few very important things to consider. There are many things that you can do to make the travelling process go more smooth. I think that these are a few of the most important ones.
1. Train your dog to stay in the car until told otherwise. Having Luke and Elsa trained not to jump out of the car is one of the most important things that I've taught them. In fact when we were traveling just over a week ago I commented on how great it was while opening the back of the Xterra at a very busy rest stop. It could save your dog's life.
2. Keep a collar on. As you all know, Luke and Elsa wear body harnesses to walk on. But, while traveling it is imperative that they have a collar on for those "in case" moments. Having a collar to grab in a pinch is important; so they wore beautifully soft collars made by Poodleit. Keep ID tags attached to the collars as well, you just never know.
3. KEEP A LEASH ON. Even if your dog is trained beyond belief and never wanders. KEEP A LEASH ON. I cannot say this enough. On our recent trip I noted a dog playing fetch at a rest stop. It was the busiest stop that we had made and right on the edge of the freeway. I was driven to some major head shaking and shoulder shrugging as I watched this dog run around. Not only was the location very close to the dangerous road but there were cars and trucks everywhere. Keep a leash on your dog at all times when stopping on a trip. It takes a minute to snap it on and that one snap could be the difference between a long and very short life for your dog. Of course if you find a VERY SECURE and SAFE area that is fenced and far from the road; then that might be the time for a romp.
4. Water. Bring water and a bowl with you. On our trips we offer small amounts of water constantly. Even if the weather is cool, traveling can really dehydrate you and your dogs. Depending on the amount of time between stops, you may want to offer it every time or every second time. Make sure to keep your dog hydrated.
5. Teach your dog to "go" on command. Boy is this one of the most useful things when travelling. I've always taught my dogs to "go" on my "hurry up" verbal cue but when travelling it really comes in handy. When every new place you stop holds completely new smells; smelling can take over and they forget to "go."
These are just a very few tips for travelling with your dog but some that come to mind with a fresh travel behind us.