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No doubt you and your active dog like to go places! When you are not running, skijoring, or playing in your backyard, most likely you and your dog jump in the car to get to something fun like the beach or the nearest forest preserve. Follow these twelve tips for making sure you and your dog have the best vehicle trip possible.
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  • Before heading on a long road trip with your dog, be sure to visit your veterinarian for a checkup. Especially if you are camping with dogs, you may need proof of updated rabies vaccination and a health certificate.
  • Always prepare your dog for long car trips by taking a series of short car rides first
  • The safest way for your dog to travel in a vehicle is in a dog carrier. While this may seem cruel, we humans can’t project our feelings onto our dogs. The dog won’t mind the crate if they have been acclimated to it, and they may actually feel safer in the carrier.
  • If you are highly opposed to traveling with your dog in a carrier, you can purchase a special dog harness that fastens them to your vehicle’s safety belt. It is important for your safety and for the dogs safety that your dog is restrained in some form.
  • Call your dealer to find out if there are any special dog-related travel accessories that are customized for your vehicle.
  • The best thing to do before crating your dog for vehicle travel is to exercise them vigorously to burn off excess energy and help them rest.
  • Make sure your dog has a dog collar with temporary travel contact information, emergency backup contact information and a microchip for identification.
  • Do not feed your dog while moving in a vehicle. Wait until you can take some time at a comfortable rest stop to feed your dog on long vehicle trips.
  • When you reach your destination, be sure to take a long walk with your dog to burn off excess energy that has built up over the course of the vehicle trip. This will not only help your dog acclimate to the new environment, but when your dog is exercised regularly they will be less prone to become aggressive with strangers or react hyper actively to an unfamiliar environment.
  • The water from various municipal systems can vary greatly making your dog more prone to getting sick from new water contaminants. Be sure to pack a fresh supply of water specifically for your dog. You can start with a gallon jug of water from home and fill it along the way. This will slowly acclimate your dog to various water sources.
    Bring comforts from home to help your dog with anxiety when traveling. Their favorite blanket, toys, bedding, brush and even their own dishes will help your dog adjust to its new surroundings by having familiar reminders from home.
    Dogs can get car sick. To reduce the chances that this might happen, feed your dog a light meal an hour or two prior to leaving on the trip. During the drive feed your dog minimally
  • Be aware of your dog’s comfort level with temperature changes. If you are prone to put on a jacket due to cold or remove some clothing due to heat, you may want to make sure that your four-legged family member can adjust for temperature as well.
  • Be prepared to take more breaks when traveling with dogs then you normally might. A dog will often require twice the amount of stops than we humans do. These stops should entail bathroom breaks, some exercise, and water.

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