by Kylie Purcell
It may finally be summer in Montana so its time to get out there and don’t forget to bring your pup! Typically I travel anywhere between 200-400 miles a week and for me traveling alone isn’t an option.
A couple tips I have learned on the open road are first off if you want your pup to ride in the backseat, make it a dogs environment. Have toys and chews that keep them busy. Start off with short trips and if you want them to stay in the back seat that means they NEVER come up to the front, you load and unload them from the back doors. If you prefer to have Fido travel in a kennel, again start with short trips to acclimate them. Try and also make the kennel dog friendly, have a small bed, Costco has some amazing and affordable ones, along with toys and chews. Use a command such as “Get in your House” and when they do, praise and reward that! Don’t just cram Fido in there and shut the door. Same with loading them in the car, have a command like “Load Up” and praise that command.
Backseat covers are a great investment, I personally like the kind that cover the whole back seat and go down to the floor (not the Hammock) since this allows dogs that are nervous to hide on the floor. Try and find a seat cover with pockets and use those for extra leashes, pick up bags, and other dog items.
I also travel with copies of all my dogs vaccination records just in case. Extra leashes are great items as well since you never know if you may need to help wrangle a stray or when Fido decides to drag his thru a mud puddle. A travel water bowl is great to bring and I usually have mine on the floor in the front and offer it when we stop. No spill bowls are easily found in our local stores or online. I prefer to travel with a small amount of my pups normal water from our house, just reduces the concern of contaminated water from random stops.
Keep in mind Rest Areas are a spot that everyone stops at, this may not discourage most but I try and find more of an isolated spot to potty my pups to reduce any kind of exposure to foreign diseases. Collapsable crates are another thing to pack as you never know when you may need one for an unexpected stop. Remember to practice with your pup to teach them this crate as they are not the most durable. Also foldable wire crates are great and fold down very small.
If you are planning an overnight trip try and pack a couple nights worth of supplies such as food just in case you unexpectedly stay longer. I have a devoted tote bag just for travel for the pups that we usually have ready with the exception of food. If you have a rowdy pup a seat belt or harness that contains them is worth the money for the obvious safety reasons. There are plenty options online to choose from.
Also crash tested crates are another great option but can rack up in $$$, although for most safety for Fido can be priceless.
Personally I do not ever allow my pups to ride in my lap on the drivers seat and very rarely allow on the front passenger seat due to safety reasons. For the small dogs there are booster seats that allow TIny Fido to see out the window.
With travel anxiety practice with short trips and praise Fido! You can also talk with your vet for tranquilizers for longer trips or use CBD.
All in all keep it fun and Fido will be glad you took him along! Happy Trails!
My name is Kylie Purcell I own Montana Dog Company LLC and Purcell’s Pride Border Collie LLP. The list gets very long with my canine involvement. Currently I have six dogs, four of which I compete with and the other two make great lap warmers. I compete and have been for over 20 years in agility nationwide, with the North American Dog Agility Association and I have been training dogs for over 15 years in obedience and other classes. I also am an American Kennel Club certified Evaluator. I am actively involved in herding and working dog competitions along with nosework and scent detection. I have three border collies that are under the age of three years old. All of the border collies activity herd and work livestock along with compete in trials nationwide. They also have all started in agility and have a very promising future. Currently they also provide goose management locally and excel at that as the Three Goose-ka-Teers. I also have a six year old long haired chihuahua who I have titled in agility. Along with all of these dogs being active canine competitors they are also are our pride and joy when it comes to our companions. I am a certified Pet Nutritionist and also provide many holistic options for canines.