New dog in the family?

One of the things we love most about our four-legged friends is how well they integrate themselves into the family life. Wherever life takes us — down to the park for a jog or across the country on a road trip — our dogs often are along for the ride.

Of course, that means teaching them to travel well. Here are a few quick tips for helping your new buddy acclimate to car rides and do it as well as possible, before your vacation gets underway.

  • Before you leave for a long trip, have your dog looked over by a veterinarian. Vets will perform a series of exams and give you what’s called a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection. If your dog will be flying, it’s required, but it’s a good idea to get one for a car trip of a day or more, too. You also might need an acclimation certificate to fly; be sure to ask your vet.
  • If your dog is prone to car sickness (or if you think she might be), letting her travel on an empty stomach will help. But bring along the food and water she’s used to, to limit the chances of an upset stomach or any other health issues.
  • Get your dog used to the car by letting him clamber in and hang out with the car parked. After a time or two, drive around the block to get your dog used to the idea of sitting in a moving vehicle.
  • Never let your dog ride in the back of a pickup truck or with her head out an open window. The dog could get an eye injury or even leap out at the sight of something she deems worth chasing.
  • If you’re on a long car journey, take frequent breaks to give your dog water and let him go potty. And please, always clean up after him!
  • Whenever you stop, let the dog out of the car for a little exercise. Don’t ever leave your dog locked in a hot car.
  • Be sure to bring any medications with you, and bring along a list of your dog’s vaccinations, too.

Of course, not every dog loves traveling, and not every trip is suitable for dogs. That’s why Rover Stay Over is here! When you’re heading out of Whatcom County but can’t bring your four-legged buddy along, give us a call. Our dog-boarding facility near Bellingham is open every day of the week, even on weekends, for pickups and dropoffs. Follow these tips to get your dog safely to Rover (or use our convenient doggy shuttle service), and we’ll handle the rest. Your dog will have a wonderful time!

For more great travel tips, visit the website of the American Kennel Club.