Preparing your dog emergency kit for travel
For the holidays and beyond, are you prepared for pet travel?
When I first saw the dog hammock, I thought this was a genius idea. It took less than four minutes to loop all four handles to the backs of the driver’s and passenger’s seats, along with the car headrests in the backseats. This car add-on was supposed to “protect car seats” and block dogs from climbing into the front seat. I was so proud of myself. And while it took a few minutes to set it up, it took my leashed Hound mix a solid 60 seconds to crawl underneath the hammock, to the floor and squeeze her way into the passenger seat with me. Fail.
I’m happy I bought the dog hammock anyway. Why? In order to get your dog ready for pet travel, it’s a good idea to do test runs. See what works and what doesn’t. I’ve learned several things early:
Hide the tissue boxes on the floor because there will be chewed-up pieces of facial tissue all over the floor and backseat.
Keep any car cleaner wipes in the front area, especially products that are toxic to pets.
Find a temporary place to keep car garbage bins. As much as I love my handy little car trash can, I found out as both a former Lyft driver and a dog owner that others don’t. Several passengers swirled it around to the front of the passenger seat instead of just moving over, and my dog thinks it’s grub time.
Always keep a chew toy or treats to entertain them early and often.
And for the safety of both your pet and yourself, no matter what your pet is doing, do not look in the backseat unless you are at a stop sign or a red light. No matter what is going on in the car, it can wait until you are not a distracted driver. In the early puppy months when I got lost while traveling with my dog and was fumbling with my GPS, I found my Hound mix chewing on her own leash and managed to get one of the rubber handles off. I was so worried about being fined for being for an appointment and ended up running late after wrestling the rubber away from her in a nearby hospital parking lot. That was the moment I realized that I needed to ditch the dog hammock, buy a travel crate and finally get around to preparing a pet travel kit, too.