Travelling With Dogs
One of the most important things to remember about dogs and travelling is that some dogs like to travel and some of them don’t. If your dog does not like travelling, there may be a number of things you have to remember before going on a journey.
If travelling is expected to take only an hour or a few hours at the most, your dog may be all right. In only a few instances it may be necessary to give the dog a mild sedative. Before you decide on a sedative, or whether or not to sedate the dog, check with your local veterinarian first. He will know exactly what to administer prior to travelling.
When taking your dog on a journey, put it in a kennel or a suitable container made for that purpose and ensure that the latter is secured to prevent it from falling over and moving around in general, and at the same time injuring the dog. In certain countries dogs are not allowed to move freely inside a vehicle and the reason for that is obviously to protect both the dog and passengers and prevent injury or even death in case of an emergency.
Another thing to remember is that some dogs suffer from claustrophobia when contained in a dark space, and some of them may also suffer from motion sickness. Make sure the kennel has good ventilation and has sufficient space for the dog to stand up and turn around.
If your journey involves driving by car, the best thing you could do before undertaking a trip is to feed the dog at least six hours prior to departure. Take fresh water and a water bowl for the dog so that it could have some water during the journey. This is especially advisable during hot, summer conditions. Food should also be taken along in case your travelling is delayed at some point. If feeding becomes necessary during your journey, only feed the dog small quantities of food at a time. It is best to have food and water ready in the event of an emergency. It may also be a good idea to travel during the night when it may be a lot cooler than during the day. Remember to take the dog’s collar and leash with on your journey. During lengthy trips it may be necessary to stop once in a while and take the dog for a walk in order to stretch its legs and to visit the bathroom.
When your dog has to travel by air, and this happens often when people relocate over a vast distance, it is always best to have a sedative administered beforehand. You must remember that when travelling by air, animals are put into the cargo hold and they may become upset by a number of conditions. Remember to consult an airline official to ascertain the necessity of a booking. It is usually necessary to book well in advance. The reason for that is that an airline will not transport flowers and animals on the same trip. Neither will they transport human remains and an animal on the same trip. So there are good, valid reasons why you should book in advance. If your travelling involves across the border moves, make sure you have the correct travel documents for the dog as well as a certificate from the veterinarian stating that your dog is healthy, conforms to all prerequisites and that inoculations are up to date. In the event of air travel, check with the airline. If your paperwork is not in order, your entry could be delayed or entry for the dog could be declined.
A last word of caution; don’t let your dog become excited or nervous prior to your departure. Do your packing and organizing at a leisurely pace and they should be okay.
Happy travelling and enjoy the journey!