Traveling in Vehicles




Traveling with your companions in Vehicles

People often find their pets either completely love or hate traveling in vehicles with you. For them, there is no "sometimes" or "not in the mood today" kind of thinking. Two of my dogs like traveling while the other two see it as a trip to paradise. I have to tackle both situations. Either way, here are some helpful tips in vehicle transportation.

Some of my companions think it's the end of world to travel in a vehicle. Anyway, here's some things I do. First, try to start when they are puppies. If you didn't have this luxury, or you still have to get them over their fears and anxiety, try making short trips to get them used to traveling. Reward and praise them excessively each step of the way.. Gradually let them get used to longer trips before you head into those cross-country trips. Sometimes you may have to enlist the help of your vet for meds to calm down the worse cases. Some have too much anxiety and perhaps must have that additional support. I also try to travel with someone they like (of course) so they can be consoled throughout the trip. Multiple companion owners should allow their dogs to travel together unless they are going on short visit to the vet or pet store, etc. This way, they have each other to feel safe and secure. Crates keep them safe from being knocked around the van when turning corners or sudden stops. Covering them also helps for some guardians although one side should be open to allow your dogs to look outside. They are naturally curious. Make the crates tall enough for them to stand up and turn around but not too big as to defeat the purpose of them being secure in the vehicle. Also, crates must be secured in vehicles.

Securing crates with tie downs work great. Remember folks, it may be you are a terrific driver but others may not be.

For cats, a crate is a must. There is no way around it. Most cats travel pretty well. Never travel with a cat outside a crate! Take cats in crates to and from vet offices, short trips, long trips, and all trips!!!!

Make plenty of rest stops. Carry dry food and water that will sustain your companions for the longer durations. Avoid feeding your pets while moving. If you are traveling long distance (i.e. over a day), then make those "feeding" stops longer. Stop at a safe rest stop, feed your dogs, exercise them and allow them to go before loading back up. Multiple dogs need to be exercised separately depending on levels of training.

Never haul dogs in the back of an open-bed pickup for long periods of time. Open-bed pickups are fine for those short trips but make sure your companions are properly tethered. Any vehicles used to transport dogs need to be covered from the elements and have properly sized crates in them for each type dogs you haul for sporting events or whatever purposes. For sedans and so forth, those nice seat-belt restraints are great too for single dog families. Also, for those owner hauling one dog at a time to and from small trips in the neighborhood. Trips with multiple domestic companions, crates are the only way to go safely unless you have absolutely perfect trained pairs that will stay seated that long. For longer trips, a crate is the only way to go.

Just as important as crating; ensure all your pets are up-to-date on all shots. Carry copies of your companions' records and keep all tags and collars on pets when traveling. Guardians of animals and vets recommend micro-chipping your pets for extra security. Have visible and reflective collars on your pets for those long trips at all times. Check all equipment, leashes, crates, and packed items prior to leaving on your trip. A checklist is always helpful since they have unique needs.

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