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Dog Care Tips (4 of 10) - Traveling with your Dog

        



Traveling with your Dog

If you and your family are looking forward to taking trips with your new puppy, it's best to prepare for the event right from the start.

Car sickness is fairly common in dogs. You can help your puppy overcome this by letting it adjust to car rides early in life. While it's still a few months old, take the puppy out and sit with it in the car. There's no need to start the engine yet. Just let the animal get used to the sights and smells of the automobile. Later there will be less cause for alarm. Many dogs see the inside of a car only on those rare occasions they are driven to the veterinarian. Few dogs enjoy that particular experience. Of course, they're going to panic when the car door closes behind them!

After a few sessions of sitting in the car, the puppy is ready for short trips. Plan to take your puppy out before eating, so it has an empty stomach. You may want to begin by circling the block a few times. Soothe the puppy's excitement or anxiety during these rides, and reward afterwards with praise and treats. Before long, the puppy should think car rides are another part of normal life, and it will be ready for extended trips without incident.

We recommend using the crate when you travel with a dog. Crates can provide protection from serious injury or prevent escape in the event you are involved in an accident. Furthermore, they can prevent trouble by keeping the dog away from the driver's lap and feet.

No matter how much it seems to enjoy it, never allow a dog to ride with its head sticking out the car window. For one thing, eye injuries are likely. Furthermore, you risk losing your dog this way-to escape (even the smallest dog can leap out the window in a flash) or death from trauma once they hit the road. Better safe than sorry; keep your dog away from open windows while you're driving.

Traveling with a dog by air is another consideration. Unless it's a seasoned traveler, your dog will probably find flying stressful, so you may want to think twice before subjecting it to the friendly skies. Each airline seems to have its own rules and regulations for canine passengers. You must check with the airline well in advance of your trip. All will require a regulation crate, however, and some sort of documentation from a veterinarian certifying the dog is in good health.

Many people prefer to tranquilize their dogs prior to travel. Bear in mind, however, that tranquilization may not be absolutely necessary. In fact, because of certain medical considerations, tranquilization may be contraindicated for your dog. Ask your veterinarian for his or her advice in seeing your dog safely to the destination.

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