** Travelling with your dog! **

I have been talking to some of my doggy friends since I began this blog and I find quite alot of them say they dont like to travel or dont like being in the car or their hoomans dont know if they could travel long distances with them. and I've also seen/heard of dogs who run in to problems when they have been travelling. Most my "advice" will relate to car travel but can be applied to train travel or bus travel ... or boat travel! 

This one applies to the actual journey and for when you have arrived.
Pack a bag with your dogs "essential" items. Bottle of water, a portion or tin of food, a bowl, a towel, a couple of your dogs fav' treats, poop bags, your dogs coat (if they have one).
This way you will be prepared and have everything your dog needs to hand without having to search through bags and pockets and the floor of the car!

As with hoomans; your dog should be correctly secured in your vehicle. This prevents them moving about the vehicle and distracting the driver or obstructing your view and also ensures that if your are involved in an accident or even if you have to stop suddenly or take a sharp bend that your dog is safe and secure in his or her seat and wont sustain injuries from colliding with your doors or falling off the seat.
Doggy seatbelt

You can buy doggy seatbelts from various places including your local pet shop and online. Here is a selection of items available on amazon Doggy seatbelts are made up of a harness which your dog wears around his/her chest and a clip type lead with a seatbelt attachment you just clip in to your cars seatbelt holder. They come in various sizes so you can find one that fits your dog securely and comfortably and a selection of different designs from plain black to multi-coloured patterned ones. They also come in an array of padding types to suit different breeds and prevent rubbing and the material cutting in to your dogs skin.
There is also dog travel crates which are soft box type crates which your dog can travel inside of.

Take regular breaks
Remember if you're travelling quite a distance; say over an hour, then plan a break in to your journey to get your dog out of the vehicle, take him for a short walk, give him chance to go potty and offer him some water.  This will ensure your dog doesn't get restless and upset being in the car, give him chance to move about so he doesn't get cramped up muscles (this is something Eddie would have problems with on trips!) and that he doesn't get dehydrated (especially important in the summer when it is warm!). Remember to secure your dog back in his seatbelt before you set off again.
Cat's ID tag has our contact number on one side
and "I'm chipped please scan me" on the other!!! 
Make sure that you choose a safe place to stop, do not just stop at the side of the road or in a lay by. Research before you leave home where the service stations are that have a grassy area that dogs are permitted. Even better if possible find a picnic spot or woods, etc where you can park up and give the dog a good walk and chance  to explore.

ID tag and Microchip 
Ensure that your dog has an ID tag on which has your contact details (Make sure that this includes your mobile phone number in case your dog gets lost whilst you are away from home) Some "I'm chipped" tags from PS Pet Tags

Unfortunately accidents happen. Before going on an adventure research where the local vets are and have a list of their contact numbers so that if the worst should happen you can get your dog help at the soonest possible opportunity.
Also, it is a good idea to carry an emergency doggy 1st aid kit for the little emergencies or smaller injuries that some of us  - Cat - are prone to.

What should I put in a doggy 1st aid kit?

  1. Vet Wrap
  2. Cotton balls/cotton wrap
  3. Sterile dressings/plasters
  4. 1st aid wash/anti-septic spray.
  5. Eye wash (to remove grit and dirt from eyes)
  6. Tweezers (to remove splinters)
  7. Foil Blanket (Can be used to keep dogs cool in extreme heat or protected from the cold if you get stranded or an accident happens when you cant reach help immediately) 
Your 1st time travelling with your dog?
If your dog is not use to travelling in the car or only been in the car for vet visits in the past then it is a good idea to acclimatise him to the car as a positive experience. 
If he is reluctant to even get in to the vehicle then start by encouraging him to get near to the car (offer treats if needs be), when he is happy around the car encourage him to get in the vehicle (you may need lift him or help him in at 1st). Again offer treats or a yummy meal whilst they sit in the vehicle (do not move the vehicle if your dog is or has just had food as this can cause tummy twists). Remember to praise your dog for every new or unusual experience he copes with. 
Once the dog is happy to be inside the vehicle take him somewhere nice near to home, maybe just 5 mins up the road to the local play park or to the pet store so he will start to associate the car with a pleasant experience.  Keep talking to your dog and tell them how good they are being. 
Over time (do not rush it) extend the time your dog is in the car for. Remember to keep praising them for how well they are coping with the experience. If they begin to get anxious when on a trip; talk to them, tell them it's okay and find the nearest safe place to take a break. Allow you dog to get out the vehicle and walk around with you. Offer them a drink and try again. Encourage them back in to the vehicle and if possible end the experience there for the day. You do not want to continue the journey, get to where you are going and find your dog wont get back in to the vehicle to return home. Also, your dog needs to know that if he really is unhappy with the experience he can let you know and he wont be punished for his anxiety levels.

An  example of how this works from our own experience with "Cat"
"Cat" has an anxiety disorder where by on occasion (very rarely now!) she will get upset when out. She goes in to full fear position. Tail between legs, full on panting, shaking all over. She will either try to bolt and pull away from what is scaring her or be unable to move and "hide" behind or against the nearest object! The vets advice was to just immediately encourage her back to a place of safely and get her home and away from the experience which is causing her anxiety. When she is coping with an experience she should be praised for how well she is doing. It's hard to believe looking at this blog but for a while "Cat" wouldn't leave the house. On occasion she did cope with the leaving the house; it wouldn't be long before her fear kicked in. Crowds. Noise. us stopping or sitting down whilst out. enclosed places. wide open spaces. all became things Cat couldn't cope with. By simply taking her out to places which in her mind were scary, telling her how good she was when she coped and when she got upset packing her up and taking her home she slowly got over her fear. (I admit we did "drug" her to begin with because she wouldn't cope. Her fear became pathological to the point she was scared of everything on the off chance it might be scary). Now the only times she gets overly fearful is BANGS if anyone makes a bang noise (which includes clapping) she immediately reverts back to the shake shake pant pant stage.but IT WAS a bang that caused her initial fear and now just moving away from the bang and telling her it's okay is enough for her to return to her happy calm self. Last weekend I took her to Armed Forces day national event where 30,000 people were in the same space as her and there were bangs. We stayed 8 hours with only a few moments where she exhibited her fear signs. during the 22 gun salute being the most severe but she quickly got over it. 
My point being that if your dog begins to understand a situation is okay he will begin to enjoy it and when he knows you will support him through the scary moments it's much easier to encourage them to "try again".  

Now she wants to drive us everywhere! 

1 comment:

  1. Doris T Doggy: "don't know if you have listings for it but would recommend Hilton Park Services Southbound for nice wood/grass for us to wee!"