Road trips can be one of the most rewarding things you share with your dog. But these trips often take place across town, or across state lines. Getting there requires travel. And, for your dog, travel, whether by car or by plane, requires important safety measures.

Ensure that your dog has been cleared by the vet to travel. The doctor should know your itinerary details.  Bring a copy of his medical history.

Below are some things you need to remember when traveling with your dog:

Do not leave your dog in the car unattended.

Just five minutes” is never just five minutes. And a few extra minutes in a hot car is long enough to kill a pet. Pets get heatstroke much more quickly than kids because they can not cool themselves off by sweating. They only have sweat glands on their paws and they don’t do much good on a hot car seat.

Do not allow your dog to stick his head out of the window.

There are lots of potential dangers involved when a dog has his head out the car window. Keeping the window halfway up will prevent your dog from jumping out, but will still allow him to smell the air. Besides, wind gusts at high speeds can cause damage to a dog’s eyes and eardrums, especially if he gets hit with something like a pebble or rock.

Secure your dog. A dog that is left unsecured in a car in motion is likely to be confused and disoriented by the strange feeling of traveling in a car, and this may lead to the dog behaving erratically, hindering the ability of the driver to concentrate while driving. An unsecured dog in a car is at greater risk of sustaining serious injuries or death, and as well become a deadly projectile capable of inflicting injuries on other passengers.

Make sure your dog is hydrated. But you don’t want to create a mess in the back seat and have him get sick. There are plenty of great travel water dishes out there. If your dog gets car sick, limit his food and water intake before he gets in the car. Your best bet is to make a few stops if you have a long car ride and keep your dog hydrated with short water and potty breaks.

Restrain your dog with a leash. Tie your dog in one place using a leash on his regular collar or harness.  Keep him leashed even when walking around as it is very hard to get separated on a strange place.

Ensure that your dog is wearing his collar with identity and medical information and your contact details.  Indicate another friend’s name as you are traveling and are not home to answer phone calls if he gets lost. Consider a tattoo or a microchip a permanent form of identification.

While there are still lots of things to consider, these can be a good place to start when planning your next adventure. With safety as a priority, man’s best friend is sure to be man’s best travel companion.

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