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Travel Tips - Car

Dog Car Travel Tips including Dog Carrier, Pet Tote Hints to make your doggy trip safe and fun! Enjoy your road trip knowing your four-legged friend is safe and cozy and happy mile after mile.

Top Ten Safe Car Dog Travel Tips

Planning a road trip? Traveling with a pet involves more than just loading your dog in the back seat and motoring off—especially if you will be driving long distances or plan to be away for awhile.

These ASPCA tips will help you prepare for a safe and smooth car trip with your dog companion!

1. Crate your Pup!
  • Keep your dogs safe and secure in a well-ventilated dog crate or pet carrier. There are a variety of wire mesh, hard plastic and soft-sided carriers available.
  • Whatever dog crate or pet carrier you choose, make sure your dog can comfortably turn around in it, stand, sit, and lie down.
  • Help your dog adjust to the pet carrier or dog crate in the comfort of your home before your trip. With our tips, Turn the Dog Carrier/Dog Crate" into a Happy Dog Place to be!
2. Take Pre-excursions. Get your dog geared up for a long trip by taking him on a series of short drives first, gradually lengthening time spent in the car.
  
3. Feed First. Start your dog's travel-feeding schedule with a light meal three to four hours prior to departure. Don’t feed your furry friend in a moving vehicle - even if it is a long drive.

4. Don't Park Your Dog. Never leave your dog alone in a parked vehicle.
  • On a hot day, even with the windows open, a parked automobile can become a furnace in no time, and heatstroke can develop.
  • In cold weather, a car can act as a refrigerator, holding in the cold and causing the dog to freeze to death.
5. Pack Dog Smart. Necessities include:
  • Travel papers
  • Food and bowl
  • Leash, waste scoop and plastic bags
  • Grooming supplies
  • Medication and a dog first-aid kit
  • Pack a favorite toy or pillow to give your dog a sense of familiarity.
6. ID Your Dog Collar. Make sure your dog wears a collar with,
  • ID tag imprinted with your home address,
  • Include an additional ID Tag if your dog should have health issues and need medication.
  • A temporary travel tag with your cell phone, destination phone number, and any other relevant contact information.
  • Canines should wear flat collars, never choke collars.
7. No Doggie in the Window. Don't allow your dog to ride with his head outside the window. He will be at risk for inner ear damage, lung infections, or injury from flying objects.

8. Bring your Puppy "Passport." Traveling across state lines? Bring along your dog’s rabies vaccination record. Some states require this proof at certain interstate crossings. While this generally isn’t a problem, it’s best to be on the safe side.

9. Don't Drink the Water. Take bottled water or tap water stored in plastic jugs for your dog. Drinking water from an area he’s not used to could result in tummy upset for Fido.

10. Doggie Proof your Car. If you travel frequently with your dog, you may want to invest in rubberized floor liners and waterproof seat covers.

Turn the Pet Carrier/Pet Tote into a Happy Dog Place to be! Just follow these steps to help your dog get used to the tote before he has to travel in it.
  • Place the tote/carrier on the floor with his favorite toy and a treat or chew (Bully sticks work well) in the tote. Let him go in and out of the carrier for a day or two.   
  • After a day or two, put your dog in the pet tote/carrier along with his favorite chew or treat and dog toy. Then take him outside to play or run. Do this a couple of times.
  • When it's time for doggy's first outing, remember to put his favorite chew in the tote with a favorite pet toy.
  • After an outing with you, your dog will jump into the pet tote, ready to go, in no time!
We highly recommend a Pet Emergency sheet in every vehicle when you travel with your dog(s).  The Pet Emergency should include the following information:

   1. Dog’s name, full description and any medical or health conditions.  Include a picture on the sheet if possible to help identify the dog.
   2. Names and phone numbers of people who can care for your dog(s) in case you become incapacitated.  If you travel to other states, include people from those states on your list.
   3. A list of instructions on what you would like done with your dog(s) in case you are incapacitated and someone cannot be contacted.  For example:  Please take my dog to the nearest veterinary medical center, doggy day care, or pet resort until I or someone else can pick him or her up.
   4. A list of instructions on what you would like done with your dog(s) should they need medical attention.  If you wish to guarantee medical expenses include that information as well.   
   5. Make sure you date and sign this document.
   6. Create a “Lost” poster for our dog and fill in all the details except for the location last seen.  Make sure to include several pictures of your dog from the front and side.  Create your poster in color and make several copies to keep with you.

PupRwear has many portable, collapsible and convenient items to help make your trip safe and fun. Shop in our Travel & Outdoor section!

IMPORTANT:  Print out this FREE Travel Pet Emergency Sheet before your trip.

Pet Travel Medical Kit: (SEE BELOW FOR PRINTABLE LIST)
We recommend the following in every pet (waterproof) travel medical kit:
  • 4 oz. Eye and Skin Wash or saline solution
  • Artificial tear gel for after eye wash
  • Mild grease-cutting  dish washing liquid to wash animal after skin contamination (pesticides, etc.)
  • Muzzle to protect against fear inspired biting
  • Non perishable can of your pet’s favorite wet food
  • Cold pack (breakable cold sports packs are best)
  • Styptic pencil or styptic powder for small bleeds
  • Thermometer with case
  • 4″ x 4 yd. flexible, cohesive, stretchable  gauze wrap
  • Alcohol prep pads
  • 2″ x 2″ and 3″ x 3″ sterile pads
  • Gauze pads
  • Two 5″ x 9″ trauma pads for compression
  • 1″ x 2 yard adhesive tape
  • 3 ply towels
  • Iodine solition
  • Hydrocortisone cream
  • Triple antibiotic ointment
  • Cotton swabs and cotton balls
  • Latex or vinyl gloves
  • 1 pair scissors
  • 4″ plastic forceps or tweezers
  • Hand wipes
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Hydrogen peroxide, 3 % to induce vomiting
  • Turkey baster to administer the hydrogen peroxide
  • Blanket that can double as a pet sling carrier
Yes, this is a lot of gear, and you don’t need all this if you plan to shop the glitzy stores or visit a well equipped friend, but, if you plan on travel where you are on your one. Just imagine the uses you could find for all this in a pinch.

Smaller First Aid Kit, courtesy of Modern Dog Magazine, By Elizabeth Kemp

Keep in mind not everything that works on humans is suitable for Rover and never administer human drugs or prescriptions to your dog without first checking with your vet.  Place items in a waterproof container.

1. A dog first aid book. We like The First Aid Companion for Dogs and Cats (Amy D. Shojai, Rodale, 2001). It’s a little hefty but it covers everything from allergic reactions to removing wax from fur.
2. Latex gloves
3. Emergency contact numbers. Your vet, the closest animal emergency hospital, and the poison control hotline.
4. Tweezers (flat slant tip) and Scissors (dull ended). Avoid pointed ends lest you do more damage than good.
5. Special tweezers for tick removal. These are designed to remove the imbedded head, which, if left in, can lead to infection.
6. Cotton balls
7. Gauze Pads, Squares and Roll. For wounds—sticky bandages don’t work so well on fur.
8. Disinfectant, such as Hibitane.
9. Wound cream. To speed healing and minimize scarring try a product such as CanineAid, a soothing cream that eases discomfort and can be used on cuts, wounds, and irritations. (epicareltd.com)
10. Saline solution. Can be used to clean wounds or flush sand out of eyes. Contact solution will work in a pinch.
11. Antihistamine. May be used to calm itchiness, swelling, and hives caused by bee stings or insect bites but, as with any medication, please consult a vet first as dosage will vary depending on your pup’s size.
12. Hydrogen Peroxide. While this is not recommended to clean wounds, it can be used to induce vomiting in case of accidental ingestion. Check with your vet before administering; in some circumstances vomiting may not be encouraged.
13. Bulb Syringe or Small Turkey Baster. Use to flush wounds or eyes or for administering medicine.
14. Antibacterial Wipes or skin soap.
15. Skin & Paw Cream.
16. Rectal Thermometer. A dog’s average temperature is 38°C or 101°F.
17. Petroleum Jelly. For use with the above. Just trying to be considerate.

It’s also useful to have an old blanket and some towels with you when traveling, as well as a second lead, some extra dog food, a flashlight, and matches. Lifejackets, this list could go on, but the above basics should have you covered until you can seek professional medical assistance. Safe travels!

PRINTABLE PET MEDICAL EMERGENCY KIT LIST AND SMALL FIRST AID KIT LIST  To Print, Click on Link, When the page opens Hold Down 'CTRL' then Click on 'P', the List should print.  To return to this page click on the Top Left Handed Arrow.

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