Hey there, fellow dog lovers! The holiday season is upon us, and you know what that means – it’s time for a festive road trip with your furry bestie! Some of you know that I regularly travel with my dogs to shows all over the north island. So traveling with with dogs is my normal! It might not be your normal but taking your dogs with you on the road can be loads of fun as well as great company! To make sure your holiday travels will be a tail-wagging good time – check out these travel tips to keep the journey FUN.
1. Plan Ahead
Check out the perfect dog-friendly pit stops. Look for caravan parks, motels and cozy cabins that roll out the red carpet for four-legged travellers. Make sure you book well in advance so you’re not disappointed and you can arrive at your holiday retreat with confidence. Planning ahead can help avoid any last-minute stress.
2. Vet Check: Pre Holiday Pedicure
Before you hit the open road, swing by the vet for a quick checkup. Make sure vaccinations are up-to-date and grab a health certificate if needed. Safety is key, and we want your dog to be fit for all the holiday adventures. And while you’re at it check those nails are trimmed nice and short to ensure those adventures are enjoyed!
3. Bling It On: IDs and Microchip
Let’s talk accessories! Deck your dog out with a cool collar, complete with an ID tag sporting your contact details. Make sure your microchip details are all up to date too!
4. Bring the Comfort: Familiar Stuff
Make the journey comfy-cozy by bringing along your dog’s favourite things. Pack their must-have toys, a snuggly blanket, and their cozy bed. This provides a sense of familiarity in new situations and environments – it’s like bringing a slice of home on the road with you.
5. Snack Attack: Doggy Delights
Every good road trip involves snacks, right? Pack enough kibble, treats, water and any meds your dog might need. Treats also double as excellent positive reinforcement for rewarding good behaviour – everyone wins.
6. Pee Breaks
Dogs need pit stops too! Plan breaks for your dog to stretch those legs and go pee, and get some fresh air. Use these breaks as an opportunity for a short walk or a quick game of fetch to keep them active and happy. Research the best dog-friendly rest areas along your route before you embark on your journey.
7. Car Safety: Buckle Up, Pup!
Keep your dog safe with a secure crate or a stylish pet seat belt. Safety first, but no need to sacrifice fashion. Ensure that the crate is well-ventilated and large enough for your dog to stand, turn around, and lie down. As tempting as it is, no sticking heads out of windows!
If your dog isn’t used to going on car rides, start off by taking them with you on short trips leading up to the longer journey. Gradually increase the duration of the rides to help them become more familiar and comfortable with the car.
8. New Place: Get Familiar
Once you arrive at your holiday destination, give your dog some time to sniff around and get acquainted with the local pee-mail. It’s a great excuse for both of you to stretch your legs after the trip and to ensure the new digs are safe and secure. Take a moment to create a cozy spot for your dog’s bed and toys – it’s like their own holiday retreat.
9. Weather-Ready: Temperature Check
Whether it’s snowflakes or sunshine, pack accordingly. Jackets for chilly days and cooling mats for hot ones – make sure you pack weather-appropriate gear. Include portable shade/shelter options for when you’re on the move and might need to stop somewhere unfamiliar.
10. Respect Others and the Rules
Not everyone might be comfortable around dogs or as crazy about them as we are, so keep your dog on their best behaviour. Respect the rules of the places you visit. And if your dog is easily excitable and doesn’t have the best recall – keep them on a lead or long line.
11. Emergency: Be Prepared
Know where the nearest vet and emergency clinics are, just in case. Keep a list of emergency contacts, including a local vet, because a little preparation goes a long way in keeping the holiday cheer intact. Having this information readily available can be crucial in case of unexpected health issues.
12. Enjoy the Journey: Capture the Moments!
Last but not least, soak in every moment of this adventure. Capture those tail-wagging, tongue-lolling, paw-some moments. Holidays are all about making memories – and what better way to do that, than with your best fur-iend?
So, buckle up, turn the radio on, and hit the road with your dog – let the holiday adventure begin! Safe travels!