If you plan to travel with your dog this holiday season, make sure you’re prepared. Just like any other member of your family, you want to keep your dog happy and healthy while on the road. Following these few tips can get your whole family, including your dog, to your holiday destination in tip-top shape and keep everyone jolly until you’re safely back home.
Make sure your vehicle is road-ready. Inspect the tires for inflation levels and uneven wear. Check your fluid levels, hoses and belts, windshield wipers, battery, headlights and tail lights to make sure everything is fully operational.
- Carry an emergency kit. Remember folks – its’ winter out there! Your emergency kit should include a flashlight and extra batteries, jumper cables, a first aid kit, extra water, snacks, and a blanket or two.
- Bring extra keys. Have a passenger carry a spare key in case the driver misplaces his set or locks it in the car.
- Keep your gas tank at least a quarter full. With the holidays, you can’t be sure where the next gas station will be, or if the remaining gas will get you there.
Important Dog Records:
- Are you traveling across state lines? Be aware that some states require proof of rabies vaccinations.
- If your dog is licensed where you live, bring a copy.
What to pack:
- Food and dog bowl
- Bottled water or water from home (other water may cause an upset stomach)
- Dog bed or pillow
- Favorite toy
- Waste scoop and plastic bags
- Medication and dog first aid kit
- Grooming supplies
- Do you plan on leaving your dog for a period of time once you get to your destination? If yes, think about bringing something that smells like like you. Maybe an old sweatshirt or blanket. Something to make Fido feel calm.
What your dog should wear:
- Dog tags
- A temporary tag with your cell and destination phone numbers
What to do:
- Stop and stretch your legs every couple hours. Every family member could likely use a break.
- Give your pooch some water when you stop.
- If Fido is in unfamiliar surroundings during the trip, watch him carefully for signs of stress that could lead to undesirable behavior.
- Be sure to give your dog extra attention with short walks, play time, grooming, and bathroom breaks to burn off energy and keep him content.
And never, ever leave your dog unattended in a hot or cold car! Extreme temperatures can kill quickly so please keep Fido safe.
Whether you will be traveling or will be snug at home with your family, have a safe and joyous holiday season from all of us at LSS Financial Service!
Author Barbara Miller is a Financial Counselor with LSS Financial Counseling.