The holiday season has arrived! For some of us, the holiday hustle and bustle may include traveling to another destination and bringing your furry family members along for the ride. As you prepare travel schedules this season, it’s especially important to keep the safety of your dogs in mind. Here are a few considerations and tips for pet parents to help prepare for happy and safe holiday travels with your best friend.
What to Consider When Traveling with Your Furry Family Members
When planning your travels to visit family or friends during the holidays, you’ll want to think about your method of transportation – are you driving or flying? Your preparations for either method of transportation will vary, so we’ve broken down travel tips for pet parents on both to help keep your dog comfortable.
Preparing Your Dog for Traveling by Car
Keep Your Best Friend Secure During the Ride
Throughout your road trip, make sure your dog isn’t allowed to freely roam around the vehicle. A harness (seatbelt or zipline), or even a crate in the back seat, are great options to keep your furry companions safe during the drive.
Pack Plenty of Food and Toys
It’s essential to pack water and food bowls as well as plenty of Bil-Jac Dog Food while away from home, especially since you may not be able to stop at a pet store during your travels. More importantly, be sure to pack enough food for the duration of your trip and measure portions for each day appropriately. You’ll want to keep the food sealed to stay fresh.
Not only will food preparations come in handy, you should also consider bringing your dog’s favorite blanket or bed, and a few toys along with you. This may help keep your dog entertained and comfortable while away from home. Last but not least, don’t forget some of your dog’s favorite Bil-Jac Dog Treats to reward him for his good behavior during your travels!
Keep Your Dog Inside the Car While Moving
We all know a happy pooch loves to experience the feeling of wind and fresh air blowing into his face, but when taking a road trip with your dog, always keep your dog’s head inside the car. Dogs who have their heads outside of car windows are at a higher risk for injury as airborne objects could hit them in the face while driving or enter their lungs.
Make Frequent Stops Along the Way
Just like us, our dogs may grow restless after spending time in the car or need to take breaks to relieve themselves. Be sure to stop frequently at rest stops while heading to your destination. If your travels will last several hours, you may want to consider taking an extended stop for your dog to burn some energy and get a little exercise before heading back on the road.
Avoid Leaving Your Dog Unattended
For many safety reasons, you never should leave a dog unattended in a car. Unattended dogs can become anxious or destructive, harming objects in the car or themselves. If you are traveling to an area with especially hot or cold temperatures, you should be even more cautious of leaving a dog unattended, as extreme temperatures present many dangers to a dog’s wellbeing while left inside a car.
Preparing Your Dog for Traveling by Airplane
Sometimes our holiday travels require us to fly to our destination. If that is the case and you plan on bringing your four-legged friend on a plane, you’ll want to consider a few checklist items ahead of time.
Before booking your flight, be sure you’ve checked ahead with your selected airline on their policies and rules for pet travel. You will also want to look into any breed-specific regulations they may have.
Purchase an Airline-Approved Travel Crate
If the airline seems like a good fit for traveling with your best bud, consider how your dog will travel throughout the aircraft to make the trip most comfortable. You’ll likely need to crate your dog or have your dog in the appropriate carry-on bag if traveling with you in the cabin. Be sure to purchase an approved travel crate that includes water cups if you choose to have your dog crated.
Speak with Your Veterinarian Prior to Takeoff
If you have any concerns with how your dog may handle the duration of the flight, talk with your veterinarian in advance about whether medication may be the right option. It is also recommended to obtain a wellness check and health certificate prior to the flight so you can ensure your dog’s safety and health are in the best condition to fly.
Prepare for Pawesome Fun Throughout the Holiday Season
All pet parents want to keep our furry friends safe during the holidays at home or during our travels. A little extra preparation can go a long way in keeping our best friends happy and safe during the season. More importantly, less stress about safety and being prepared allows more time to relax and have fun!
For more dog safety and pet parenting tips throughout the year, join our Best Friends Club today. Each month you’ll receive fun doggy facts, information to care for your fur friends, and discounts on Bil-Jac products!