Road Trip

13 Jul

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When traveling with puppies I would suggest crating them in your vehicle.  Puppies can get bored and adventurous even in your car.  The last thing you need is a curious  puppy wandering around in your vehicle, which could potentially cause an accident, or cause them harm.  Some useful items to keep in your puppy’s crate to keep them occupied are toys like Kong products.  A couple days before leaving your house, stuff a Kong, or a hollowed out marrow bone, with all natural peanut butter, and if you feed kibble, that can be added to the mix, then place in the freezer.  Your puppy will spend hours trying to lick out their yummy snack.  I tend to stay away from stuffed animals, only because if bored, your pup may destroy the toy and you’ll have stuffing everywhere, not to mention your puppy could eat the stuffing which may cause an obstruction.  There are toys on the market now that do not contain stuffing and are just as fun for your pup to play with.

Be sure to pack food and water dishes, which there are several types to choose from.  Attachable hard dishes are available at most retail stores.  These dishes are attached directly to the inside of the crate door.  Collapsable soft sided dgallery-thumbnails-4ishes are another option and are useful when you are taking your dog out for a walk to stretch their legs.  You can find these at any of the larger pet stores or order online.  Pet Edge is a good company to find lots of pet items at a discount price.

Packing food can be a challenge depending upon what you feed your pets.  Kibble can be stored in a plastic travel container, where raw food can be a bit more challenging.  I raw feed my dogs, so what I do is divide their meals into zip lock bags.  I freeze their food and also pack it on ice and store it in a regular coleman cooler.  The convenient thing about raw feeding, however, is that you can pick up more ice as needed, and also you can pick up more food at any grocery store.  Sometimes, especially when you buy high quality kibble for your pet, it is not easily accessible.  I would suggest in this case, doing a quick search on Google before making your trip to see which retailers carry your brand of food that are on your travel route.

Another big must is pack lots of disposable bags with you, a roll or two of paper towels and a safe, non-toxic cleaner.  This comes in handy for that unexpected “accident” that may happen in the crate, as well as picking up after your pet when at a rest area or out for a walk.

When traveling with a puppy it is especially convenient if you have, or have access to borrowing, an x-pen.  These exercise pens are usually made of eight hinged panels, each panel measuring approximately 24” wide.  The height of the panels vary depending upon the model from 24” to 48”.  You can create different shapes, such as a square or an octagon.  The x-pen keeps your puppy safe while allowing them to get some much needed room to stretch and move, while you and your family enjoy some time outside of the car as well, perhaps while you are having a picnic, and are not actually walking your puppy.  I am not a fan of tying up any dog, especially a puppy, and I am particularly not fond of using the public “dog area” found at most rest areas.  Your pet could pick up sickness or disease from somebody else’s pet.  I prefer to pick a spot as far away as possible.  Please bring baggies with you and be certain to pick up any “mess” your pup or dog may make.

I always make sure I pack a first aid kit when traveling long distance.  My choice is homeopathy so my first aid kit contains my “go to” remedies, which include, Arnica (for bumps, bruises and trauma), Ledum (for puncture wounds), Apis (for bee stings and bug bites) Hypericum and Calendula cream (for scrapes and cuts).  Keep in mind these remedies are useful for your family as well.   The essential oils Peppermint, Lavender and Lemon are great to bring with you too.  A drop or two of peppermint in your pet’s water dish can help cool them internally.  Lavender is fantastic to help calm your pet.  Place a drop on each pad or one or two drops behind their ears.  A drop or two of Lavender can also be placed on their bedding, which will calm your pet as they inhale the oil.  Lemon is also great to purify the air in your vehicle, can be used to disinfect the crate after you take your pup out for a potty break, and it is also a great oil to choose for anxiety.

I usually stop every 3 hours, if traveling during the day, and allow us to get out of the car for a stretch and potty break.  If you are needing to spend the night in a hotel or motel, plan ahead and do a search either on Google or AAA site for pet friendly lodging.  More and more places allow pets now.  Sometimes you are charged a $10 fee per dog, but I’ve been in hotels that do not charge a fee.

Plan ahead and have fun! gallery-thumbnails-3

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