The Dude (Jackpot! The Dude Abides StandBayou) and I had a most excellent adventure traveling to French Bulldog Nationals together. As I mentioned, he was the easiest dog I have ever traveled with, which either says a lot about him or I am just mellowing with age. Stop laughing, I suppose it is a testament to Dude, not my chill personality. Traveling with a French Bulldog, Pug, or any flatter faced breed has its own set up additional issues, but the tips below refer to all dogs. Enjoy!
Here are some great tips from Priority One Jets. Love the image of the dogs all buckled up with seat backs up and tray tables up. First Class all the way.
Below are a few tips and hints I have learned over decades of traveling with dogs – sometimes more successfully than others. How many times have I forgotten water bowls and had my dogs drink out of ice buckets?
The Blissful Dog Road Trip Tips
• Make sure your dog is used to traveling before a long trip. A few quick trips around town will accustom your best buddy to being in the car. Have Ginger Snap cookies on hand, not just for road trip snacks (though I love those cookies), but the ginger can calm a slightly upset tummy.
• Also, ensure your dog has a clean ill of health and is up to date on any required vaccinations OR has the appropriate titers (for those of us who are looking askance at over-vaccination issues). Bring copies of any paperwork along, just in case you need proof of rabies vaccination (yikes).
• Even if your dog is usually “buck nekkid” have him or her wear a collar with identification. Snag additional identification with the destination written out (there are nifty little cylinders you can buy and slip a piece of paper in with temporary contact info). While on the subject of collars and such…please make sure you keep your buddy on a leash while you are out of your area. It only takes a blink of a Pug eye for your best friend to get lost. They can quickly become disoriented and then a fun trip becomes a nightmare. Makes me feel all queasy thinking about it.
• Take cool water from home, especially if your dog has a sensitive tummy, as changes in water could give a little tourista (oh, no!). Also, bring plenty of food from home so they will not have nay digestive upsets along the way. Dogs crave routine and their same food, in their same bowl, at about the same time, is best, if at all possible. This is a big deal, as nothing ruins a fun trip faster than explosive diarrhea. Now that you have that visual, back to the list.
• If you are the only human on the trip there will be times when you HAVE to leave your dog alone in the car. In hotter climates, this can be terrifying and we do not have perfect answers, just what has worked for us. Tip: Have two sets of keys to the car, park in shade, leave the car locked and the a/c running and dash in and out as quickly as you can. Keep in mind that this is literally a “pit stop” answer, as a/c systems can fail and we do not want that to happen to YOU. I have even asked kindly looking strangers at gas stations to keep an eye on my dog in the car while I dash in, most people will do that for a moment. If you must be absent for much more than that…leave your flat-faced dog at home!
• When I have traveled on long road trips with my French Bulldogs, in moderate weather, I would run in and take MY pit stop and run right back out. Then I would park under a tree (if possible) and let the dogs out for a break. When traveling with one or two dogs I use leashes for their walks. With more than two, I would use an exercise pen (portable mini-fence), which gives them room to romp and go potty. NEVER leave an ex-pen unattended, no matter how tempting it may be. Just don’t. (DUH).
• Breeds like Bostons, Pugs, Pekingese and French Bulldogs have eyes that protrude a bit more than many other breeds. This cute (to me) feature makes it easier for them to get debris in their eyes – ouch! If you do roll the windows down, make sure it is never enough for one of these bold buddies to leap out! I have had a crazy Frenchie leap out of a parked car window and I needed cardiac resuscitation. Thankfully, I was parked in my own driveway.
• I gotta say this, your dog should be in a crate, a seat belt harness or otherwise contained while driving. They can cause accidents when trying to give kisses, roll the window down or by just being a dog…so, do not let them have free rein in the car. We have all seen those Geico commercials and I know I felt a twinge of recognition as I have been guilty of that sin.
• Last, I do not recommend you tranquilize your dog, as reactions can occur and their breathing may be compromised, especially our flat faced friends. WARNING…SALES PLUG! Use our The Blissful Dog RELAX Roll-On. That way…no drugs are involved and they will just relax…ahhhh. Yes, blatant attempt to sell you something, but it works.
May you and your best friend have a Blissful Road Trip!