5 Road Trip Tips That Will Give Your Dog the Adventure of a Lifetime
Changing seasons are made for road trips—but if you’re planning on taking your furry friend with you, there are a few things you need to remember before inviting them to hop in the car and enjoy the ride. Here's what you should know to make sure your pooch has a healthy and safe trip.
1. Treat Pet Food with Care
In warmer weather, pet foods have a higher risk of spoilage. Foods high in fat or with added fish oils or omega-3s are more likely to spoil (since the fats can break down) and potentially make your dog sick. Pack food and treats in an airtight container and use a cooler to keep food cool and dry. Once you’ve arrived at your destination, take the food with you into your hotel room instead of leaving it in a hot car.
2. Offer Water Frequently
Dogs are susceptible to heatstroke when they don't get enough water. Try a snap-in water bowl if you’re travelling with your dog in a crate or keep a collapsible dog bowl on hand. Be sure to make water stops at least every couple of hours. Also, be aware that some dogs may not drink water that tastes or smells different to their water at home. If you suspect you may have a picky pup, consider packing extra water to feed your dog—and if you're going to be on the road for long, make a plan for gradually accustoming your dog to the taste of the water at your destination.
3. Let Your Dog Indulge in a Special Treat
If you're making an ice cream stop on the road, it's okay to treat your pup to a small vanilla cone once in a while. Don't overdo it—treats like this should make up no more than 10% of total daily calories—but it can be fun to treat your dog to an occasional indulgence. Just make sure your pooch doesn’t have a dairy allergy.
4. Beware of Motion Sickness
If your pooch gets carsick when you travel, your veterinarian can prescribe motion-sickness medication. You can also try adding a teaspoon of a fibre supplement to your dog's food to help prevent diarrhoea that can be brought on by stress. Ask your vet for their recommendations before you start your travels. Sometimes, carsickness happens regardless. If you suspect your dog might be sick when you get going, plan ahead with plenty of paper towels and cleaning supplies.
5. Stretch Your Legs
Your dog is probably itching to go for a walk after being cramped up in the car, and it's good for you too. You'll likely be stopping frequently anyway for both human and canine potty breaks, so be sure to move a little. Plan stops along the way at places where you might be able to walk for a few minutes—even a couple of laps around the parking lot counts.
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