Dog ownership comes with responsibilities. Travelling with dogs involves more than just loading the animal in the backseat, it requires ample planning and organisation well in advance of the intended departure date.
Whether it be an extended road trip or a short drive, these are a few recommendations on how to transport dogs and ensure their safety throughout the entire journey.
Ensure That Your Dog Is Medically Fit To Travel
While a majority of dogs are up for an adventure, some still prefer the comfort and familiarity of their home as opposed to a foreign environment. Hence, take your four-legged friend’s personality into consideration because their well-being comes first.
However, if you are uncertain of your dog’s health condition, consult with a veterinarian for a physical examination. Dogs who are prone to car sickness or suffers from anxiety may require medication, which can only be issued by an AVA-registered veterinary clinic.
Bring A Dog Travel Bag
Create a comprehensive list of travel essentials depending on your dog’s needs, then pack accordingly. The list should include kibbles and natural mineral water, a collapsible bowl, dog training pads, a first aid kit, prescribed medication, waste pickup bags and your veterinarian’s contact information. Waterproof seat covers and rubber floor mats for extra protection can be a good investment too.
Also, regardless of your time schedule, do not neglect or put restrictions on your dog in a haste to get to your destination. Make pit stops along the way so he/she has plenty of opportunities to stretch their legs and go on toilet breaks.
Keep Your Dog Secured In The Car
Wearing a seat belt in Singapore is mandatory for passengers, and it should be applied to dogs as well. Having a dog securely fastened not only reduces the risk of them being harmed in an accident, but it also prevents distractions while driving.
The most appropriate restraints for dogs are booster seats, leashes or harnesses that can be attached to seat belts, and well-ventilated travel crates. To get your dog acquainted with the crate before he/she actually uses it, associate it with special treats and their favourite blanket or toy.
Never Leave Your Dog Unattended
No matter what the circumstances might be, never leave your dog alone in a parked vehicle, especially in Singapore’s humid weather. Even with the windows wind down, your car can still easily become a furnace in no time which could expose your dog to heatstroke.
Signs of heat exhaustion include heavy panting, pale gums, salivating, uncoordinated movement and vomiting. If you notice your dog exhibiting these symptoms, gently wet his/her fur and skin with either tepid or cool water, then switch the air conditioner on to normalise body temperature.
Never Let Your Dog Stick His/Her Head Out Of The Window
Dogs use their acute sense of smell to perceive the world. Therefore, a majority of dogs love sticking their heads out the window because taking in vigorous whips of new scents excites them. But, in doing so, they are vulnerable against windblown debris and could be seriously injured by these objects. If your dog is still persistent, invest in a pair of doggles and ensure he/she has a protective eyewear on throughout the entire journey.
Do you have any other recommendations for travelling with pets? Let us know in the comment section!
Special thanks to Ah B Cafe for allowing us to film at their pet-friendly cafe.