The dog days of summer are just around the corner, and roadtrips will soon be on the rise along with the temperatures. There are few things better than putting some miles in with your pup, and it pays to stay in-the-know on how to keep your four-legged friends safe on the road. Our experts at Caliber have put together a few pointers on how to combat the rising temperatures and keep that tail wagging on and off the road.
Drive Something Dog Friendly
When you're looking for a new ride or rentals, don't forget your family members of the four-legged variety. The main things to consider when looking for pooch-approved vehicles are comfortability and safety. Features like sliding doors make it easy to load and unload your dog, while large, flat interior surfaces help minimize hair accumulation and the potential for treats and toys to go missing. SUVs like the famously pet-friendly Nissan Rogue or Subaru Crosstrek are great examples of what to look for, affording you with plenty of space, accessibility and safety features to keep all of your passengers, humans or otherwise, happy.
Prep your Pooch
Long trips can be hard on dogs, especially if they're not used to being in a car for more than a trip to the vet. The last thing you'll want in the first few hours into your trip is to find out your pooch gets car sick. To ease them in, try taking your dog on short rides while using the same crate or harness you'll use in the weeks leading up to the big trip. During your travels, we recommend putting familiar blankets and favorite toys in the car to help alleviate stress and keep them occupied during the ride.
Buckle Up, Pup
Buckling your dog up is one of the most important ways you can make sure everyone stays safe on the road. As harmless as it may seem, letting your dog have free range while you're on the road can lead to distractions and even disaster. We recommend investing in a kennel or harness equipped with car seat attachments that keep your pet safely in place.
Give Your Buddy Breaks
Keeping your dog safely harnessed is extremely important, but that doesn't mean moving should be banned altogether. Repay your dog's good behavior on the road with frequent stops to let them stretch their legs and burn off some of that built up energy. Before hitting the road, do some research on parks and other dog-friendly areas along your route. A good rule of thumb is to stop every three to four hours for a quick potty break and some much-needed fresh air. As an added bonus you'll feel mentally refreshed after, which means a safer trip for everyone.
First Aid for Fido
Prevention is the best medicine, especially when it comes to your dog's safety. Accidents and illness can strike at any time, and we recommend equipping yourself beforehand so you can handle the usual road-trip woes many dogs face. Make sure to invest in a pet first-aid kit equipped with tweezers, antiseptic pads, ointment, bandages and gloves at the least. In addition, it's worthwhile to record the locations and numbers of emergency veterinary facilities along your route, and especially the 24-hour ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center helpline. Hitting the road with pooches can be a real adventure, and great fun - as long as you plan ahead, bring the right supplies and anticipate the unexpected.
The more homework you do on dog travel, the fewer surprises there will be in the long run. That being said, even the most prepared drivers can hit a bump or two along the way, and that's where we come in. If your fender happens to fetch a dent or two, our collision repair experts are always at the ready to restore the rhythm of your life and get you back on the road. Here's to wishing you and your pooch safe travels this summer.