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Anywhere But The Roof: Best Methods for Traveling With a Dog

While traveling with a dog down the open road makes for good memories, doing it properly takes some thought. Help you and your dog enjoy the time you spend journeying together by keeping these tips in mind. I love DOGS!

DO: Use a crate

A crate keeps a traveling dog safe and secure. Look for a crate roomy enough to allow the dog to turn around: too small is uncomfortable, too big not snug enough. Avoid crates with protrusions inside that might irritate your dog. The material must resist water. A bottom engineered to contain liquid topped with a layer of absorbent material stops leaks. Test

DO: Consider medicine for your anxious dog

If trips wreak havoc on your poor dog's nerves, ask a vet about calming medications. A relaxed dog on a long car trip makes for a more relaxed driver, creating a safe environment. Your vet may recommend an over-the-counter remedy like Benadryl, or he may suggest a prescription medicine, such as Xanax.

DO: Stop when the dog needs to stop

The pace of a car trip with the family dog is slower than with humans alone. The stress of travel may make cause your dog to stop for frequent restroom breaks. Make quick fresh air stops if your dog is sensitive to the motion of a vehicle. Your dog is a happy traveler altogether if you respect his natural need to get outdoors for a bit.

DON'T: Feed your dog a big meal before departure

A dog with a full stomach is likely to vomit during a car ride of any length. Dog vomit, in turn, is likely to make a car ride of any length more unpleasant than it has to be. Let your dog wait until after arrival for his next big meal. Give him lots of water, however: hydration reduces nausea. Give him a favorite toy, or a fun new one, to chew on during the drive. Keeping a window cracked lets fresh air in and diminishes the chances of canine carsickness.

DON'T: Leave the tags at home

Your dog probably is unlikely to get lost while on vacation, but he could. Do not begin a trip without first snapping on his collar and tags. Finding a missing dog becomes easier when the dog carries identification. Include both official license tags and name tags - each helps the person who finds your dog get him home. Be certain the phone number on the tag is one you can answer while on vacation.

DON'T: Leave your dog alone in the hotel

Even the best-behaved dog worries when left alone in a strange place. Never leave your dog at the hotel by himself. Frightened dogs damage property and bark. Plan your trip around things you and your dog can do together. Find out whether your destination has any dog-friendly restaurants - they are becoming increasingly popular as more dogs travel with their owners.

Your dog thinks home is wherever you are. That's one reason traveling with a dog can be such fun: he is happy to see you happy. Keep everybody happy by taking steps to organize a trip likely to go smoothly.

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