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Thanks, Subaru. We love these commercials. They just might be DVR-proof!
Gas up the buggy, Merle. We’re goin’ for a ride. If your holiday plans include driving to your destination for family fun, we have you covered with dog travel tips for the car. First things first:
Some dogs may experience anxiety or motion sickness riding in cars. Help your dog acclimate to the car. Take them for drives around town to ensure all is well. If your dog experiences anxiety, talk to your vet about a mild sedative or homeopathic solution to calm her during the long road trip. Another great idea for making your dog comfortable on the trip is having a blanket under which she can snuggle. The cover provides a safe space for them.
Let’s talk about safety. A 2011 survey by AAA and Kurgo led to some pretty startling revelations about pet-related distracted driving. Sixty-five percent of respondents admitted to petting, holding down their dog and participating in other distracted behaviors while driving. They also found that an unrestrained 10lb dog can generate 500lbs of force in a 50mph accident while an 80lb dog generates up to 2400lbs of force in only a 30mph crash. Unrestrained dogs can also be thrown from the vehicle causing injury or death. We all love to have our dogs on our laps; but there is a significant risk of injury or death if that airbag goes off in an accident. Restraint is the responsible choice. Dog seat belts are one option to consider. These restraints provide your dog the option to sit, stand or lie down in the back seat or cargo area. Some freedom of movement plus safety: Win-Win. Plus, you can get them for any size of dog from the teeny tiny boogers at 2lbs to the Great Dane lap dog over 96lbs. Another option is to install a barrier in the back seat to keep your dog safely contained in the cargo area of your vehicle.
If you are travelling with luggage in the car, ensure it’s all tied down securely. Items can fall on your dog or become flying objects in the event you need to brake suddenly.
We all know this move. Our dogs love to hang their heads out the window, feeling the wind in their fur and sniffing all the wonderful smells at high rates of speed. Unfortunately, this can pose a threat of injury from flying rocks and debris on the road. It could also cause damage to their lungs from the rapid airflow. Best to keep the window cracked but not open.
A dog riding in truck beds is especially dangerous. Not only do they face the danger of flying debris, they can fall out, jump out on their own or be thrown out in the event of an accident. Serious injury and death are very real risks. If your dog must ride in the back of the truck, let him do it in a secured, appropriately-sized kennel with good ventilation.
If your trip includes overnight stays along the way, research and call ahead. Many hotels are getting the hint that travelling with your pet is a thing…a big thing; and are now opening their doors to dogs. A great resource is BringFido.com. Plan your route and know where you are going to stop along the way. BringFido.com allows you to type in the location and the site returns results for dog-friendly hotels in the area. Choose your hotel and book it right there. Reviews, descriptions and hotel amenities are listed to help you choose the best accommodation for your family. Be sure to be a kind and responsible dog owner. If your dog has separation anxiety and/or barks the entire time you are gone, that will not make you popular with other guests. Leave your cell number with management so you can be contacted if a problem arises. Find activities in that city where your dog can be a part of the action. In fact, BringFido.com shares events, activities and even restaurants where your dog is welcome.
The holidays are here. Travel well and safely. Share your travel plans with us. We’d also love to see photos of you and your dog having fun this season. Share them here. Share them on social media. Just share them!