1. Buckle up your pup
In an accident a loose dog inside a car becomes a deadly projectile. Your dog should wear a safety harness that connects to the car’s seat belt or ride in a travel crate. When using a crate, secure it in place. According to Bark Buckle UP, a recognized go-to expert and leading research team on pet travel safety:
When driving 35 mph, a 60-pound unrestrained dog can cause an impact of 2,700 pounds, slamming into a car seat, windshield, or passenger.
2. Driver distraction
Accidents are caused by driver distraction. Training your dog to ride quietly in the car is important. Securing him in the back seat will go far in helping you keep your eyes and mind on the road.
3. Double your leashes
When stopping at highway rest stops, use two collars and two leashes as an extra precaution. Places that are unfamiliar, noisy or have a lot of traffic may panic a dog causing him to out of his collar. Having two is insurance against a collar or leash breaking.
4. Proper identification
Micro chips or tattoos can help return a dog safely to you. The person finds your pet will not have a scanner or know to look for a tattoo. On the tags, include your cell phone number, the phone number of your veterinarian and a close friend or family member.
5. Never leave your pet in a car
There is the chance your dog could be stolen. An anxious dog may work its way out of a partially open window. Even on mild days the temperature inside a car can soar to well over 100˚ in minutes. Heat can kill.
6. Bring water and food from home
A sudden change in diet or water can make some dogs sick. Carry plenty of what he is used to eating and drinking at home.
7. Health records
Carry a copy of records showing your dog is up to date on his vaccinations. Some states and localities require proof of a rabies vaccination. Call ahead to find out what is needed.
8. K9 first aid kit.
Pet first aid kits can be found on many online sites, such as the First Aid Store. You can get a list of supplies to make your own from the American Veterinary Medical Association. Keep the contents up to date
9. Clean up after your dog
Taking potty breaks is a necessary part of traveling. Clean up and properly dispose of your dog’s waste. Responsible dog owners set a good example for the public.
10. Relax and enjoy the journey
The state of Virginia has a many places to visit. State parks are dog friendly as are many local attractions. Proper planning and preparation can make traveling with your dog wonderful experience creating memories that will last a lifetime.