Road trips are the choice for approximately 72% of travelers in the U.S. in current times, many of whom are seeking to avoid crowded airports and the many regulations associated with air travel.
Enjoying a Safe Road Trip With Your Yorkie
For those with dogs, they are the ultimate way to embrace freedom, independence, and comfort, since road journeys enable families and their pets to take frequent breaks.
If you will be taking a road trip with your Yorkie soon, keep the following considerations in mind for a safe and happy experience.
Investing in a Good Dog Seat
There are many cheap and cheerful Yorkie harnesses that are compatible with car seatbelt systems but if your Yorkie sheds, it is a good idea to invest in a dog seat, which will keep dog hair in one easy-to-clean spot and help your pooch feel protected within its own independent space.
When looking for a seat, opt for one that is crash-tested by a reputed entity like the Center for Pet Safety. The seat should also be comfortable and have a bed-like structure (or be able to accommodate a small bed) so your dog can actually enjoy rest while you are in transit.
Also look for a seat that attaches to the latch system in your backseat, as this will ensure your dog does not accidentally unfasten it. Make sure your dog’s harness fits well enough so your Yorkie cannot slip out of it.
Choosing the Right Vehicle
One of the downsides of road travel is that families often choose to ‘travel heavy’, being significantly more lenient with the amount of clothing, equipment, and devices brought than when traveling by air.
If you will be purchasing a car soon or renting one, opt for a vehicle with dog-friendly features such as easy-to-clean seats, a quiet cabin, spacious interiors, cargo tie-down hooks, and good climate control throughout the car.
Ensure the car is well maintained and reliable since the last thing you want is to have your car break down in the middle of the road. Some roads have little to no coverage, while those which are distant may take a while for tow trucks to get to.
Moreover, towing vehicles can be expensive so it is important to take a car that is in good working order.
Bringing the Right Documentation
Bring any records you may need along the way – including your dog’s vaccination record, prescriptions, microchip information, dog tag, and the like.
To play on the safe side (especially if you will be visiting natural areas like beaches, mountain trails, parks, and the like) investing in a GPS dog collar is a good idea.
Some also come with pet trackers, which enable owners to discover if their pets are doing enough exercise and alert them about behavioral changes which could signal early signs of illness.
Entertaining Your Pet in the Car
Dogs who are alert or who don’t fall asleep easily while traveling may enjoy distractions. Chewing sticks are popular for most dogs but make sure you choose small-sized chews.
Just a few you may like to try out our Purina’s Busy Bone Real Meat Tiny Dog Treats, Edgar Cooper’s Doggy Dental sticks (which come in three sizes-small, medium, and large), and The Honest Kitchen Beams Ocean Chews Hearty Wolfish Skins.
The latter is a particularly luxurious choice because it is GMO-free and it meets FDA requirements for human-grade items. For a Yorkie puppy, try Wellness Soft Puppy Bites at Chewy, which have Omega-3 fats for healthy growth.
Other chewy toys your dog may enjoy playing with include Kong-style dogs (which have treats or peanut butter stored within), Deerhorn (a chews made with naturally shed antlers and nylon), and extra-small squeak balls.
If your dog loves music, keep him happy with tunes played at 40-60bpm, since low-frequency sounds calm the canine nervous system. Soft rock and reggae are two styles your pooch may love.
Getting Your Yorkie Ready for the Trip
Prior to taking your road trip, get your Yorkie used to being in the car, taking increasingly longer trips until your pet feels comfortable and even learns to fall asleep during its journeys.
On the big day, feed it a light meal three or four hours before the trip and bring a few snacks for when you stop for a walk or meal. Try not to snack yourself while on the road, since your dog can get excited and try to reach for food.
If you have small children that need to snack frequently, stop at a park or resting area so your dog does not associate car time with snack time. Make sure your dog has constant access to water, using a collapsible dog bowl for greater ease.
Ensuring Your Dog Is Treated Against Fleas and Ticks
Fleas and ticks can cause a whole lot of problems for your Yorkie so it is important to use a flea and tick collar or apply a treatment prior to departure.
Always consult your veterinarian regarding the best treatment to apply.
If your Yorkie is a puppy, note that many insecticide-based options are unsafe for pups who are two months old or younger.
For puppies, your vet may recommend a flea comb or shampoo approved for use in puppies.
For adult Yorkies, ask your vet to recommend a brand that kills adults fleas and ticks and stops any eggs they have laid from hatching.
Also make sure your Yorkie is protected against intestinal worms – including roundworm, hookworm, whipworm, and tapeworm.
The brand Milbemax also prevents heartworm infection so run this option by your veterinarian if this condition concerns you. Your vet will have to make sure your dog does not have heartworm before starting the treatment.
This treatment can usually be given to dogs who weigh 0.5kg or over and who are at least two weeks of age.
Road trips are an increasingly popular choice for travelers and they are an ideal way to bring your Yorkie along. Arguably the most important consideration when it comes to investing in travel is a good dog seat – one that will keep your dog stable and cushion it in the event of an accident.
Driving a comfortable car – one that with enough storage space so your dog can travel in an uncluttered space – is also important, as is bringing any medication and documentation your dog will require.
Prior to leaving, make sure your dog is updated with its flea, tick, and worm treatments.
Although many treatments are available online, it always pays to obtain your veterinarian’s approval first because some treatments should not be given to very small or young dogs.
Others should not be given if your dog has an underlying condition.
For dogs that do not simply go to sleep in the car and need a little stimulation, bring a chewing stock, Kong toy, or other types of toy containing treats inside.
You can also bring maze-style dog feeders that your dog can focus on while you are enjoying many short breaks between destinations.
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