For a smooth trip, consider your dog’s unique needs
During the late season, bird hunters sometimes travel with their dogs in search of new or better hunting opportunities with less pressure. They’ll even go so far as to drive across international borders.
Here are five travel tips to help you and your pup become kings of the road.
If your hunting trip will take you south of the border, remember that completing the necessary paperwork requires time, so get it done well in advance. For your dog, current vaccination records are a must. Also, dog food restrictions are sometimes in place to prevent the spread of livestock diseases.
A sudden switch in diet can upset a dog’s digestive system, throwing him off his game. So, if a change is needed, switch foods a few weeks before your trip.
#2 MEDICAL HELP
Make sure you have the emergency contact information for a vet in the area where you’ll be hunting, in case of an accident in the field. Also, carry a well-stocked dog first-aid kit to handle any minor injuries.
#3 MOTION SICKNESS
As with people, dogs can also get carsick, especially on long drives. As a precaution, avoid feeding your dog before heading out. Also, learn to recognize the early warning signs of motion sickness, such as yawning, drooling and whining, so that you can pull over before things get worse.
It’s nice to have your dog sit by your side in a vehicle, but it’s not the safest practice. If you choose that route, use a dog-specific seatbelt harness; it allows for some freedom of movement, but prevents the dog from getting thrown from the vehicle in the event of an accident. For maximum protection on the road, I recommend keeping your dog in a modern, rotomoulded kennel.
Dogs thrive on routine, so long vehicle rides and strange motel rooms can cause stress, which in turn may lead to appetite loss and poor performance in the field. To help avoid this, bring along your dog’s favourite blanket or chew toy, and keep the kennel in your room to provide a cozy, secure place that feels like home.