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Dog Road Warrior Survival Guide

Written by: Carol Bryant

Keep Fido Safe as the Summer Travel Season Kicks Off

Leave No Dog Behind® is the FIDO Friendly mantra, but getting there safely is of utmost importance. In some states, seatbelts are mandatory for Fido. From a safety perspective, unrestrained pets are responsible for more than 30,000 accidents every year according to the ASPCA.

With the lives of you and Fido on the line, isn’t it important then to consider a safety harness when traveling? The back seat is the safest place for Fido to avoid air bag deployment in the event of an accident. Acclimate Fido to the harness by allowing him to wear the harness around the house for a few minutes at a time. Graduate to short car trips in the area. Work into longer trips and never scold Fido in the process. He’s getting used to it just as you are. If he could thank you for saving his life, right now he is.

Things to look for in a good safety harness? Strong webbing such as nylon, strong stitching, allow the pet to sit and stand comfortably, and comfort combined with reliability if an accident occurs.

FIDO Friendly publisher, Susan Sims, shares a ‘Road Warrior Survival Guide’ with readers:

Vaccination Records
Keep a copy of all vaccination records in your doggy’s duffel bag. Should an emergency arise once you are on the road, you will have the important information you need. You will also need these records when boarding Fido for the day or overnight if you take in an excursion where your furry companion is not allowed.

Collar and Leash
Remember that taking Fido out of the car for potty breaks must include his collar being secured and him being leashed (don’t forget the poop bags). A foreign territory brings unique smells that are oh so hard to resist, and your little darling can escape before you can say, “Sit, stay.”

Fido won’t want to get lost, so be sure that he has a current tag with an emergency phone number firmly attached to his collar or harness. Most people travel with a cell phone, making this the perfect number for your dog’s tag.

First Aid Kit
There are a number of doggy first aid kits on the market, and if you have the time, you can even put together your own. Some essentials to include are:
Tweezers to remove ticks
Stypic powder to stop toenail bleeding
Eye wash to flush wounds
Gauze bandage
Adhesive tape
Antiseptic moist wipes

Food and Water
Be sure to bring along Fido’s favorite food so as not to upset his stomach. There are great roadworthy foods and treats on the market. If you will be cooking for Fido, make the food ahead of time, and pack it along with your own goodies. Your dog is used to drinking water from your hometown, and when traveling it’s a good idea to bring along as much of Fido’s drinking water as you can, and rely on bottled water as back-up.

Seat Covers and Blankets
Vacations are supposed to be fun, and nothing says fun like four muddy paws…not! Protect your seats with covers and blankets made especially for your type of automobile. Be proactive: Always carry additional towels and wipes to clean off your rambunctious rover.

Safety Restraints – see our list below

FIDO Friendly’s Safety First Check List
Coastal EZ Rider Dog Harness
AKC Seatbelt Harness
Kwik Clip Car Harness
Large Lookout Pet Car Harness
Large Lookout One Pet Car Seat
Precision Pet Vehicle Barrier
Perched Pet Car Seat
Snoozer Pet Car Safety System
Signature Pet Car Seat and Carrier
Outward Hound Front Seat Safety Barrier

Beds and Crate
Don’t leave home without Fido’s favorite blankey or bed. You don’t want him sleeping on the guest bed…or do you? Bring sheets, too, so if your furry companion is accustomed to sleeping on the furniture, he won’t leave any tell-tail signs. If Fido calls his crate his den, then bring it along for a good night sleep during your vacation.

Fun Stuff
Don’t forget the toys! If Fido is a nervous Nelly when staying away from home, help ease his discomfort by bringing as many toys from home as you can. Familiar smells and chew toys will help calm even the most anxious pet. If Rocky is a Rock Monanoff aficionado, by all means pack his favorite CD for his and your listening pleasure.

Double-Check Hotel Reservations
You are ready to go—but before you back the mini-van out of the driveway, call your hotel to confirm your reservation and that they are expecting Fido. Nothing says bummer like a newly implemented “no pets allowed” policy since you made your reservation.

Now you are prepared to hit the road with Fido knowing you have thought of everything. Safe travels are in store—and don’t forget to pack your copy of FIDO Friendly magazine for more great travel ideas.

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