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Runde’s Tips – Bringing Along Fido

So you are planning a two-week visit to your mom’s house this winter and she has welcomed you to bring your pet for the visit? Great! Mom lives 5 hours away, a no-sweat trip for most, and your family is all excited for it. Your 6-year-old son can’t wait to sink his original baby teeth into Grandma Betsy’s world-famous chocolate chip cookies, yum!

But what about Peaches, your 3-year-old rottweiler? This is your first long trip with him coming along and you are worried about how to go about the whole process. Well, let us help get you, your family, and Peaches allready for the excursion.

  • Some folks might say consult your vet before taking your pet on a trip. I’d just say make sure that you remember to take along plenty of pet food.  What you don’t want to happen is that you get 3 hours down the road and realize you forgot to feed the pooch and, moreover, you forgot to bring a bag of his/her food.  I remember we took our beagle, Mittens, on a 7 hour trip across Iowa when I was a kid and my folks forgot to bring the dog food.  Dad made the mistake of stopping at McDonald’s and bought a cheeseburger for Mittens.  About thirty miles after that, dad pulled over to clean dog vomit off of the back seat carpet.  That was before the invention of Fabreeze, and it made the rest of the trip very pleasant (not!) on our noses.
  • Also bring along a good stock of any medication that your pet might take. It’s a good idea to bring along some of the more common medications, including flea and tick control as well as heartworm medicine.
  • Take along important documentation, including: license numbers, tattoo numbers, microchip numbers and vaccination records.  It’s best to be prepared for anything.
  • You might take along a kennel or carrier for your dog to ride in on the trip. Some vehicles, especially SUV’s, have a “dog fence” you can put in the cargo area (see picture to right). Whatever you go with, be sure that you can protect your pet and keep him/her under control when needed.  My sister takes her current Beagle wherever she goes and transports him in his kennel that sits in the back of their van.
  • If you’re planning to stay in a hotel, call ahead to make sure that the town that you’re planning on stopping in overnight has a hotel that takes dogs — many don’t and you don’t want to be stuck driving around Po-Dunk, Nowhere at 11pm looking for a hotel that’ll lodge you and your four-legged friend.
  • Say bacon-cheese-burger! Take a picture of your pet before you go and print it out in case Fido runs away. An up-to-date photo will help you describe him to others.

There you have it, you should be ready to go! Gotta love the holidays, gotta love it even more when everyone you love, including your pets get to share it together. Stay tuned next week for some practical tips you can use to be safe on the roads as winter starts to approach us. We’ll make sure you get to see Grandma Betsy instead of a ditch this winter! 🙂

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