I’m prepping to travel with dogs. I love to travel. Road trips are one of my absolute favorite things to do! And if I’m traveling through or near your town, I’ll swing by for lunch, bearing all natural, all USA dog treats for your pup, maybe even sleep on your couch if you let me. But I don’t often travel with the dogs. They usually stay home with my Hunny or my mom. I’m prepping to travel with dogs next week, though.
The dogs I’m traveling with are the small terrier mixes, Chewy and Gadget. This is still new for me, as we’ve always traveled as a family with the Aussies, who are easy traveling companions, not fussy or demanding at all. This stage of my life, however, traveling for Jones Natural Chews and taking my dogs to conferences, is completely different. Say hi to the dogs.
Chewy is active and a picky eater. He worries me when he won’t eat. Gadget is Velcro. They both travel well, but I cater to their particular quirks as we go.
In prepping to travel with dogs, food is a first concern for me. When we drove to Atlanta last year, I brought Chewy’s regular kibble, not having a clue. He chose not to eat. At all. I was worried. Then we roomed with Bunny, Carma Poodale’s mom, and she showed me a cool trick. Canned food. Fancy canned food. Little Caesar’s. Chewy devoured a can or two a day. Since then that’s all I bring when we travel – small cans of fancy dog food. Chewy eats just fine, now. Thanks, Bunny!
And of course I bring tasty Jones Natural Chews. They break and tear into small pieces (I love the taffies and jerkies for that), which is perfect for traveling.
Each dog is different and has different gear. With my small dogs, they wear harnesses when we go on a leash, versus the bigger dogs’ collars. The big dogs are collared all the time, but the smaller dogs go nekkid in the house. So it’s a prep to gather harnesses, leashes, any cute clothes I might want to dress them in. This year they’ll be wearing custom made leashes and harness from The French Dog. I also grab the dog bed (yes, jut one – they sleep on top of me in the bed). I grab collapsible bowls for water all the time, as well as water bottles I can tuck in my bag.
Prepping dogs for travel means prepping myself mentally. Here at home I roll out of bed, open the back door, let them out to the bathroom. Seventeen floors up in a hotel, I shower and dress before taking the dogs in an elevator to the poop station far below. And they can’t just do their business and walk away. I carry a poop bag dispenser, filled with bags, extra rolls tucked away in my suitcase. Always pick up your dog’s poop when you travel. It’s polite.
In the Car
In the car is a story all its own when prepping to travel with dogs. My mom made tethers for the little dogs. They’re essentially adjustable straps from gym bags, the kind which snap off. The snap part gets snapped onto the dogs’ collars, and the adjustable part has the seat belt run through it and clicked shut. The dogs can easily move back and forth on the seat, but they can’t jump out of the car door or window, and it’s not enough line to get tangled up in each other. Genius. Snap on the leash before snapping off the tether and we’re good to go! The little dogs travel in the back seat.
My other travel life saver in the back seat is the car seat cover which Dawn, at Pet Auto Safety, sent me. It protects from motion sickness upchuck, as well as muddy paws and shedding. It’s cushy and covered in cute dog paws, as well as having straps to attach in all the right places to the seat, not sliding off like a blanket or towel would, and it’s waterproof on the backside. PERFECT.
The last thing I focus on when prepping to travel with dogs is their papers. Which means their shots and vetting. Last week I took the dogs for their annual shots, including kennel cough (they’ll be hanging out with a bunch of other dogs for a few days). Those papers are tucked into a folder in their travel bag. I also take them to be groomed right before leaving. Make sure they don’t have fleas. Makes sure they’re up to date on heartworm meds. All the important stuff, documented, in case it’s ever an issue. And my vet’s number in my phone. If I were in an emergency situation with the dogs on the road, I’d be on the phone to the vet in a heartbeat.
Now! We’re nearly ready to travel next week! Until then, have you entered the Twister bully stick giveaway? It’s ongoing for another week or so! In fact, there’s a daily tweet that will earn you points! Head over to the giveaway post and enter to win! It’ll make your dog smile. Naturally.
Until I write again …