Traveling With Your Labradoodle
The 2019/2020 APPA Pet Owners survey records that just over 63 million US households have a dog as a member of their family.
The numbers of travelers that bring their pets along with them is also growing every year! While previously not as common, many locations allow pets and may even have special accommodations for travelers bringing their four-footed friends.
If you consider the pile of money you'd need to spend for a pet-sitter or boarding house, you might want to take a second look at bringing your labradoodle along on your journey. Here are some things to remember when bringing your pet along on your vacation or multi-day outing.
For traveling in an automobile:
Restrain your dog during the ride, even small dogs. It isn't safe for you, your dog or other drivers on the road if they are scurrying around in the vehicle while you're trying to drive. A scared, hungry or curious dog is a big distraction while you're navigating a multi-ton piece of metal at highway speeds. When properly equipped, airbags work great for people, but they aren't meant for pets and can kill or badly injure your dog if you have an accident with them in the front row of seats. For this reason, pets should be kept in the back seat while the car is in motion.
Carrier or Harness?
The absolute safest method of travel for your dog to travel is in a carrier that has been secured to the seat with a seat belt or other specialized connection. Be sure to use a carrier that is large enough for your dog to at least stand up, turn around, and lie down. This will keep your dog much more comfortable and give them the ability to shift their position on a longer drive. If you have one that fits your dog, you can also use a specially designed dog seat belt harness, but realize these are more for restraint of movement than protection in a crash. It does little, if anything in the way of protection.
Work up to longer trips
If your dog isn't used to vehicular travel, take a few short road trips with your dog to get them used to the motion and feeling of riding in the car before you decide to bring them along on a longer trip. With each trip, travel a litte farther each time to give them the tolerance of a longer drive.
Feeding on the Road
Don't overfeed your dog before leaving. Travel on a full stomach may add to motion sickness problems but will also require stopping for a break sooner in your trip. A light meal a couple of hours before you leave will give him a chance to digest some of it before climbing in the vehicle. When traveling, feed your dog when stopped at a rest area or at your destination. Feeding in your vehicle is not only messy from falling food, it can lead to motion sickness.
It's best practice to never leave your dog alone in a parked car. When temperatures rise or fall outside, it's not only a safety concern, but passing people may decide to break your vehicle window to free your dog if they think they are trapped inside no matter the temperature.
Visiting Another Country?
If your trip includes travel into another country, you'll want to keep your dog's health records close at hand. Countries you are visiting will want to be sure your labradoodle is healthy and vaccinated. Be prepared to allow officials to check them and make copies if they wish. Additionally, it's a good idea to look up local veterinarians in advance of your visit, in case your dog needs an emergency visit.