Tips for Driving with Dogs
Travel Season Approacheth, Mind Your Puppies
If you have a pet, going on vacation generally implies that you’ll be taking your pet along because it really won’t feel complete if you leave your furry friend behind, right? Before you get going, however, there are a few things you need to take care of to ensure that your trip will be safe, fun and enjoyable.
Here at Big Sky Collision Center, we are all about you enjoying your vehicle. Be safe by following these tips from the best auto body repair shop in Billings.
Before the trip…
- Touch base with your vet
If it’s been a while since you last brought your dog for check up, now is the perfect time to bring him/her back to the vet. Make sure your dog’s vaccinations are up-to-date. Ask also if there are recommended vaccinations for your trip, especially if you are going to some remote or exotic locations where there may be unusual threats to your canine friend like some kind of local disease.
- Plan your route
Plan your route such that you’ll have time to take 15 – 30 minute breaks every 3 – 4 hours or so. This way, you and your pet will have time to relieve yourself and take a walk around. Try to ensure also that you will make your stops at pet-friendly locations.
- Reserve for lodging at pet-friendly accommodations
Remember that not all hotels, inns or even campsites accept pets. Don’t make assumptions. If it’s not explicitly expressed in their policies when you check online, make the effort to contact them directly to confirm if they have pet restrictions. It will surely ruin your vacation if you find out too late that the hotel you booked isn’t a pet-friendly one.
- Prepare your dog’s supplies
Just like people, dogs have their own needs too. And not being provided with those needs will induce feelings of anxiety in the animal. To avoid, or at least minimize, any unpleasant incident, make sure you bring everything your dog needs including: food and food bowl, treats, water and water bowl, toys for chewing and fetching, collars, protective wear (especially if you’ll be driving in cold weather), doggie bags, ID tags with your current contact information (especially your cell phone number), and bath items (dog towel, shampoo, brush, flea comb, tick remover).
- Don’t feed your dog too much.
Dogs are prone to motion sickness so having too much to eat before the drive is ill-advised. What will be better is to feed your dog a few hours before your trip, then take him/her for a nice, long walk immediately prior to leaving so your dog will be relaxed and ready.
During the trip…
- Secure your pet by putting in a kennel or crate that’s properly buckled down; or restraining through a dog seat belt.
Keep in mind that loose pets inside a vehicle can become deadly distractions because instead of focusing on your driving, you won’t be able to keep yourself from repeatedly checking on your pet as well. Also, without any restraints, your pet can easily jump out of the vehicle and either cause an accident or be the victim of an accident.
- Don’t leave your pet alone inside your vehicle.
Those few minutes inside the car while it’s turned off can cause harm to your dog because it can get really hot really fast. Dogs can get heat stroke and suffocate too, and at temperatures lower than it would take a human to be hurt. It’s the same in cold weather. The car can get pretty cold, and your pet could freeze.
- Don’t let your pet stick any part of their body out the window.
While many dogs enjoy sticking their heads out of open windows, it’s not advisable to let them do so because the strong wind can bring dirt and debris into their eyes, nose and ears and cause injury or an infection. The noisy wind isn’t good for their ears either.
- Stick to your routine
While you’re on the road, your routine is going to change. Still, it’s best to make an effort to maintain as much of your normal routine as possible. For example, try to feed and walk your dog on the same schedule as you do when you’re home by scheduling a break (from driving) during that time.
After the Trip…
If you are able to get to your destination without any unpleasant incidents, congratulations! Your vacation is off to a great start. And when you get home after your fun and relaxing experience, squeeze in some time to bring your car in for detailing. We know you love your pet. But that pet smell in the car is still something you’ll want to get rid of, and only good detailing can do that.
Give us a call at 406-259-6328 to schedule a time to bring your vehicle in for a full auto detailing.