Travel Dog Blog, By Car

Travel Dog Blog, By Car

Maggie is obviously a well-loved and perhaps over-indulged pooch–as is befitting a dog that is so clever and cute. Really! We like to take Maggie with us when possible. This dog has gone by land, air and sea. She likes to travel and she likes new experiences. Just like us.

To make our adventures more fun, I’ve researched on the web and bought the AAA book “Traveling with your Pet”. While these sources give some good broad information, sometimes the details are wrong. Like, trying to find the restaurant that the dogs are welcome at and discovering that the road listed doesn’t exist, nor the restaurant. Or that the entire city has a law against dogs dining even in the sidewalk café.

We mainly learn as we go and thought some other traveling pet-owners might benefit from our experiences. This is the first of an occasional series about our travels with Maggie. They’ll be posted on Thursdays.

Here are the basics of what you need for a road trip:

Microchip your pet. Just in case she slips out of the hotel room or jumps out of her carrier, if some kind-hearted person rescues her, she can be scanned. There is a huge database out there with names, addresses and phone numbers. We have fortunately not had to use this but feel just a little more secure knowing that it’s there.

Put ID on the collar. Maggie has a phobia about dangling tags on her collar. (One of many phobias) I found a site that makes a tag that attaches to the collar with enough lines for Maggie’s name, my phone number, and address. I also ordered the collar from them so I would know that the tag actually fit. Both the collar and tag are very sturdy.

Take health records and immunization certificates, dog license, and rabies tag. Some places require these documents.

Get a pet restraint for your vehicle. Maggie has a car seat–which she absolutely hates. Maggie feels that her place in the car is on the driver’s lap so she can help with the driving. Besides being incredibly distracting, she would get smashed by the air bag if we were in an accident. We tried a couple different types of restraints and settled on a car seat. The seat belt goes through the back of the seat and a short leash attaches from the seat to her harness. It’s nicely padded plus high enough that she can see out the window. There’s a little storage compartment under the seat where I keep her water bowl, leash, and health records. You can find several different car seats on the Internet.

Travel Dog Blog, by car
Maggie is quite comfy in her car seat.
Travel Dog Blog
This could have been a tragedy but Maggie was in her seat and we were both just showered with glass.

Pack any medication or special food that your dog needs. Fortunately, Maggie does not get car sick but she does get anxious. So Maggie gets a wee dose of Xanax, suggested and prescribed by the veterinarian, if she starts the “tremors” or pacing in her seat. Our last drive was to North Dakota and she was fine the entire time without her little happy pill.

So those are the basics for a road trip.

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