Memorial Day is the traditional start of summer, and with the world finally opening up, summer travel plans are well underway! We can’t wait to hit the road for a vacation or even a weekend day trip with our dogs to explore nature and take a well-deserved break. However, if you haven’t traveled with your pup before, you may feel overwhelmed or unsure of how to plan your journey. Don’t worry, we’re here to help! Keep reading for six travel tips for doggy parents to have the best vacation this summer!
On The Road
Whenever taking your pup on the road, even if taking it to daycare, we think that the most important tool you can own is a doggie seat belt. While we recommend keeping your pup in the backseat, these crash-tested seat belts will work in any seat and will keep your pup from becoming a projectile in the event of an accident. It also keeps your pup from interrupting the driver! And, while you are at it, keep your car seats clean by investing in a stylish car seat cover. The covers we offer at WholeDogz fit all vehicles with headrests, and include seat belt slots so you can buckle up. Check them out in auto accessories.
If your dog tends to get anxious when on the road, have someone sit in the back with them, if possible, to help keep them calm. Otherwise, you can try some calming supplements to help them enjoy the journey. Dogs can get carsick and anything with ginger in it is a huge help for the tummy!
If you’re going on a long journey, be sure to bring plenty of snacks for your dog as well as a few puzzles to keep them occupied. Make frequent stops to allow your dog to stretch their legs and prevent any accidents.
Keeping Your Pup Hydrated and Fed
The key to having smooth travels with your dog often comes down to having the right compact products and materials. Choose freeze-dried food for your vacation as it creates less mess and doesn’t need to be refrigerated. It’s important that your dog gets the right nutrients while you travel, so they have enough energy to play and aren’t as anxious being away from home. Always make certain to add plenty of water. Probiotics or anti-anxiety supplements are also great to have on hand in case of an occasional upset. Of course, we think dogs should use probiotics all the time! Freeze-dried treats are also a great option - they are high-value treats and help to ensure your pup keeps coming back for more.
Invest in travel water and food bowls, such as the Scout & About Travel Bowl. This travel dog bowl is light and portable, folds flat, and hooks effortlessly to your belongings to make it easy to refuel your pup anywhere the day takes you!
Keeping Your Dog Comfy and Clean
Out-of-town adventures often include a romp in the water - be it the beach, a lake, or stream. After running around and playing in the sun, your dog inevitably will want to recharge and rest. You don't want your pup to have to lay on rocks and sticks. It’s uncomfortable for them and may result in getting scratched or bitten more easily. To keep your dog clean and happy, opt for a travel-friendly dog bed, such as the Great Take Along Travel Dog Bed. This perfect mat provides a comfy place for your pup to rest, and has easy roll-up straps that allow you to attach it to the bottom of a backpack or sling through your crossover leash - without adding any load to your travels! It’s waterproof and perfect for those long days in nature. At the beach? A great take-along option is Madra Mor Mud which will rid your pup of unwanted salt, sand, and other enemies that rob your pup of healthy skin! And our Kurgo Mud Shower is also a great way to rinse your pup off. It’s small and easy to carry in your backpack.
Keeping Your Dog Safe
The most important part of traveling with your dog is keeping them safe. If you’re headed out in nature, be sure to research the area you are traveling to and find out what type of wildlife lives there. If there are any animals that may present a risk to your dogs' safety, such as snakes, bears, cougars, alligators, or crocodiles, be sure to keep your dog on a leash when in danger zones and keep a close eye on them when not.
If you’re going to be in the sun all day, be sure to get your hands on some dog-friendly sunscreen, especially if your dog has short or light-colored hair. Just like humans, being out in the sun too long without protection is dangerous and can result in sunburn and eventually skin cancers. Check out the Warren London Dog Sunscreen with Aloe. A spritz of this premium spray moisturizes your pup's skin and protects them against harmful UV light. Protecting paws and your pup’s nose are also essential and we offer nose and paw balm - which we use before heading out even for a walk in the summer to protect my pup’s from hot asphalt.
And, as lovely as being out in nature is, you don’t want to bring home ticks. In addition to sunscreen, don’t forget your defense against pests. We sell a variety of non-chemical and natural products for flea and tick prevention including sprays packed with essential oils to deter fleas and ticks, and natural supplements that help change your dog’s odor so that fleas and ticks won’t be attracted to them.
Don’t forget to pack a variety of toys to keep your dog occupied throughout your vacation! If your dog is a fan of water and playing fetch, check out our variety of toys that float for a fun game of fetch in the water. These toys are made from recycled plastic recovered from the ocean for all our eco-friendly dog-parents. The combination of running in the sun, cooling down in the water, and playing with you will make your dog the happiest pup in the world!
Depending on where you’re traveling, you may encounter colder evenings or even some rain. Bring an all-weather dog jacket with you to ensure your pup has plenty of fun no matter what the weather is like.
Overprepared is better than underprepared
When it comes to traveling with your pup, it’s better to be over-prepared than underprepared. Overpacking is not something to be afraid of, especially if you’re going camping or far away from the city. Pack extra food, water, treats, medicines, and toys so that you’re prepared for any situation. Start making a list of everything you’ll need by paying attention to what your dog uses on a daily basis and go from there. Overpacking allows you to relax and have a good time with your pup and family without worrying that you’ve forgotten something.
As long as your dog is with you and you’re with your dog, you’ll have a fantastic time on your travels. Have fun and welcome to summer!!