Tips for Taking Care of a Puppy on the Road
Taking care of a puppy extends beyond just what happens in your home. Taking your puppy on the road, whether it’s a trip to the veterinarian’s office or an extended 3 hour trip, is an adventure that should be safe and sane for both of you. The following tips will help you not only keep your puppy safe and happy, but will ensure your safety while driving.
Restraints and Containment for Safety
Depending upon the age and size of your puppy, you will want to choose an appropriate method of restraint or containment while he’s riding in the car.
- A crate or travel kennel with his blanket will provide a small area to help keep your puppy secure. This will not only keep him reassured, but will prevent him from wandering around the vehicle and potentially getting under foot while you’re driving. While a cardboard box may keep a puppy momentarily contained, by nature they’re curious and you could potentially have an escapee situation to deal with.
- Using a harness and carabiner combination can help keep an older puppy safe and secure while riding in the car.
- Using a car barrier can keep your puppy contained in a specific area of your car. This should only be used with older puppies to avoid injuring a younger pup during the ride.
Food, Water and Pit Stops
It is important when traveling with your puppy to feed him as close to his normal feeding schedule as possible. Be sure to provide water when you feed him as well. Some puppies refuse to drink strange water so it might be helpful to bring along a container of water from home.
Pit stops go hand in hand with food and water. You should gauge how frequently you need to stop based on the age of your puppy in order to avoid accidents inside your car. The younger the puppy, the more frequently you’ll need to stop. Keep your puppy on his leash at each and every potty break and be sure to offer him the opportunity to drink at each pit stop.
- Make sure your puppy has his ID tag on his collar in case he does get away from you.
- Depending upon how far you are traveling and the individual state laws, you may need to have your puppy’s immunization records with you to show to officials to prove his shots are up to date.
- Never leave your puppy in the car on a warm day, even with windows cracked open. Internal temperatures can climb quickly and leave your puppy in distress or worse, dead.
- Leave a window cracked open while driving, but not wide enough for the puppy to stick his head out. He could get tossed from the car or get road debris in his eyes.
- If you’re going on a long distance trip, have your veterinarian recommend a veterinarian in your destination city.
Road trips with your puppy, whether across town or cross country, can be a great adventure for both of you. Keeping the above guidelines in mind can ensure both of you arrive at your destination safe and happy.