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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Dog friendly road trip advice

Today Kitai did not have a fun morning. He had to go to the Vet to update his rabies shot for our upcoming road trip. Some campgrounds will require proof of his vaccination for him to be able to stay on their property.


At first he was ambivalent.


After having his temperature taken he gave me the stink eye.


He got his shots, had a sample taken from what turned out to be a harmless cyst, and a blood draw to test for heartworms. He couldn't wait to leave.

In the past few days I've been getting great advice from other dog owners about traveling alone with a dog. Some points I can share with you:

  • Kitai is already microchipped in case he gets lost
  • He always has a tag on with my cell phone number so if he's lost I can be contacted directly
  • He is always leashed when out of the house
  • When I walk him he wears a separate harness with a second tag so that he won't ever slip his collar and have no tag on
  • He has a seat belt that hooks to his harness for riding in the car so if I slam on my brakes or we're in an accident he won't become a projectile in the car or be ejected
  • Kitai has a reflective leash for night time and a small LED light that clips to his collar so he's more easily seen 
  • I already always clean up after him in public because it's the law here in San Jose

New ideas from the forum include:
  • Create a lost poster with photos of him ahead of time that I can print and bring with me so that if he were to get loose I could handwrite in his last seen location and put them up immediately
  • Get a small window shade that I can put on the passenger window to block direct sun from hitting him and making him too hot
  • Adding"Reward if Found" to the tag he wears on his collar
  • Getting a small battery operated fan in case he needs more air circulation in the car or trailer to be comfortable
  • Bring a copy of his most recent vet records
  • Get a thermometer to check the indoor temperature of the trailer so that I can learn how my trailer heats up and when it's safe to leave him in the trailer alone while I run into a grocery store (in the morning only) without putting him in danger of heatstroke.
Aside from these points it will take a bit more effort, finding restaurants that offer patio seating, and stopping and letting him stretch his legs throughout the day but those inconveniences will be worth having my little buddy with me instead of leaving him home.

If you have any other tips please leave them in the comments. I want to make this experience as smooth as possible for both of us so that our trip is as fun and relaxing as possible.

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