Road Trippin with a Dog: Safety

Road Trippin with a Dog: Safety

So far the #1 question asked is about Leia and what it is like to go Road Trippin with a dog. I will tell you that my Leia is a good dog but not trained super well. If I am honest it is me, I am the one not trained very well.

Leia is smart, but I am not dedicated enough to have her be an off-leash, listen to all my words, find Timmy in the well, and notify kind of dog. I will leave that to Lassie and her trainer.

Knowing I’m a terrible dog mom, I will encourage you to travel with your pets even if they are not Westminster dog show dogs. This post is about safety and making sure your dog is safe when you travel.

Getting to Know Leia

What my readers should know about Leia: She is shy of 9 pounds. She has a huge personality. Leia is crate trained but she has never been put in the crate as punishment. I have put her in the crate to sometimes give me a break because she is a ball of energy. She does not eat people’s food regularly, so it is a treat if she gets it.
When I adopted Leia she had been in a home where she was abused and neglected. I adopted her from a wonderful rescue organization called Stop the Suffering.

I have nothing nice to say about breeders of dogs in southern Ohio or anywhere in Ohio, as I have now owned two dogs that have had significant issues. Both of which came from sketchy breeders and or puppy mills.
Leia has some significant issues with going to the bathroom. From the information gained after her rescue, it appears she was abused around bathroom time and/or has a physical issue from being the runt at the bottom of the pile.

I share all of that with you to say she is a great traveler despite her issues. What I am going to share below are some very specific actions we take when traveling.

Some of these safety measures are easier with a small dog.

So far Leia has covered a lot of ground and after our last trip, she has even been out of the country. After several trips with her, I think I have it down pretty well.

Road Trippin with a Dog: Safety

From the car ride to the hotel stay to the hiking and camping. The first thing I think of is Leia’s safety much like with kids there are some things we all should do. The following is a list with links to products I use and love for Leia’s safety.

  • Leashes. I always have two along. Neither are retractable or longer than 6 feet. I have a handheld leash for walking and bathroom breaks and I have a hands-free leash for hiking and climbing. The 6ft leash rule is just a good measure but it is often a requirement at parks and trails.
  • When traveling in a car it is a really good idea to have your dog secure. Because of Leia’s size, I use a dog booster seat with a safety belt on her harness. For bigger dogs, you can get seatbelt attachments.
  • I believe your dog should always have a place to call their own even when Road Trippin. Crates for me and my dogs have always been that place. I do not use the crate as a punishment but rather as a den tricked out with familiar scents and favorite blankets to rest in after a day of adventure. It is also ideal to keep them in when staying in a hotel. They do not make a sound and they rest while you are out for dinner or some non-dog time. The problem, crates are big and bulky. Solution Leia has her own portable crate. The crate was an amazing gift after Leia arrived from her rescue. I would not give this up for anything. A foldable, portable crate is the absolute best for travel.
  • The last thing is a doggie passport. This is good even if they are not leaving the country. It is a place you can keep all your info on your dog in case your dog goes missing. In Leia’s passport, I have her Vaccination record, her info on her miro chip, her dog license, and two photos. I have an extra tag with my information on it in case we lose the one on her collar. I keep all of this in a passport carrier in the glove compartment so it is easily accessible.

The last thing I want to mention is how I visit stores and some restaurants while still traveling with Leia. I carry her in a backpack! Yes, I have a special backpack called a K9Sack. She loves riding in it. Leia can be up and see what is going on. She tends to be very calm while on my back and most shopkeepers have no issue with you bringing her into their shop. Some even have treats! They make these carriers for dogs all the way to I believe 50 pounds. I love the sports sack and so does Leia.

These are the basics of safety and traveling with a dog. If you do something different I would love to hear about it leave a comment. Safe and Happy Travels!