If you'll be traveling to visit family or friends over the holidays, you may be bringing your dog along for the ride. TJ has some safety tips to keep in mind when you're on the road with your pets.
One of the safest places for your dog to be in the car is in a sturdy, secured crate. Make sure it's well-ventilated, and is big enough for your dog to stand up, turn around and lay down. If he's never been in a crate or gone on a long car trip before, practice ahead of time at home by making the crate a comfortable place for him to be, and take him on short car rides to get him used to the idea.
Another great safety item is a seatbelt restraint, like this Sleepypod harness. Any seatbelt restraint should still give them a little mobility to look out the window and lay down, but keep them safely in place in case of an accident.
If your dog gets bored or nervous in the car, try giving them something to keep them occupied, like a peanut butter filled kong. (If they get nauseous in the car, skip any food products.)
Every time you take your dog on a car ride, it's a great opportunity to practice "wait," and giving them the "ok" command to jump in or out. With these skills, you can be confident that your dog won't bolt into the street when you open the door.
Be sure to include items for your pet in your winter readiness kit. Pack water and food for them, and any winter boots or clothing to keep them warm in case you get stranded. Always have poop bags, a leash, any medications they need, and bring a favorite toy for their comfort.
Give your dog a potty break whenever you take a break, or need to fill up with gas. Bring unscented baby wipes or dog-specific wipes to clean salt and chemicals off their paws.
Never leave your dog in the car alone. We all know cars heat up very quickly on hot days, but they can also get dangerously cold in the winter.
If you won't be staying with friends or family, you'll need to find accommodations that allow pets. Check out Bring Fido to search for pet-friendly hotels.
With a little extra planning, you can have a great – and safe – holiday trip with your pets!