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Preparing Your Pooch for Road Travel

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Hideki Saito

I have a dog, Callie, that I believe loves to be on the road more than I do. She honestly pouts on the weekends because we are not going to work, but she is about to get her fill of riding in the car. In a few weeks, Callie and I will be embarking on a five-year road trip across America and I have spent a great deal of time preparing for it. Here are a few tips, from my experience, on preparing your pooch for RV travel.

Callie’s health and well-being are my top priorities. She gets regular check-ups with the vet and she will be going through a thorough screening before we leave. I know she won’t be happy, but I will feel better. I will also be getting a copy of all her medical records to take with me.

I keep three tags on her collar: a rabies tag with the vet’s information, an ID tag with her name and my number, and a scan tag from PetHub. Scanning with a smart phone opens access to my phone number, a back up number in case I can’t be reached, all of her medical information including when she receives her heart worm pill and flee and tick drops, her rabies shot records, and even pictures of her. How cool is that! With three tags Callie jingles a lot!

If you travel with your pet, I believe the most important thing to have done is micro-chipping. It is not expensive ($15-$50) and worth the price for the peace of mind. If you become separated, your pet can be scanned by any veterinarian, animal shelter, or animal hospital, and returned to you safely.

One last thing that I am looking into is a GPS tracker for her. Tagg – The Pet Tracker is rather inexpensive ($99.95 with a $7.95 monthly fee). The small device hooks onto her collar and can be tracked with a smart phone, computer or tablet. There are other devices such as the Garmin ($177-$592), but you have to keep up with a receiver. This is another “peace of mind” device that is worth the money if your dog has hunting instincts.

I don’t know how your pet reacts to new places, but Callie goes into a major sniff and pull mode. Lately, I have been taking her to several different places for walks. The sniffing continues as expected, but the pulling seems to be slowing down. Hopefully over time, the pulling will stop completely as she realizes we will have a new address every week.

With less storage space I won’t be buying any more 50-pound bags of food and I’ll have to sort through the duffle bag of “babies” and keep Callie’s favorites. She might have to start sleeping with me as well, and I don’t believe she will mind.

You have spent time preparing for your travels, take the time to prepare your trusty companion. Remember, they didn’t ask to go with you, but I bet they will enjoy the ride.