THE DO'S AND DON'TS OF TAKING YOUR DOG ON A ROAD TRIP
January 09, 2019
Your pooch is a part of the family so it’s understandable that you would want to take him on holiday with you. But the dreams of them frolicking on the beach or splashing through mountain streams can easily become a nightmare if you don’t do some research before embarking on the trip.
BEFORE YOU GO
- Your research: Does your destination allow pets? Are there any specific rules with regards to pets? How long will it take to get there?
- How will you be transporting him? In the open boot, on the back seat, in a crate? Your and the dog’s safety is of the utmost importance, so be sure to have the necessary equipment.
- Plan your stops. Try not to be driving for more than an hour without a designated rest stop.
- Make sure your dog is comfortable and used to travelling in the car. If the only car trips he has done up till now are trips to the vet, chances are he will be very wary of that big shiny thing with four wheels. Do a few “positive experience” trips, such as trips to the park or beach.
- Make sure he is used to a crate if you will be transporting him in one – practice by doing a few car trips beforehand.
- Take your dog for walk to get rid of excess energy before the journey. He’ll be more inclined to sleep once in the car.
- Consider micro-chipping your dog, so he is easily traceable should he do a runner.
- If he’s susceptible to car-sickness, chat to your vet about what he can take.
- Travel with a sick animal. It’s not fair on the dog and will make your holiday pretty miserable too!
ON THE ROAD
- Ensure the safety of the dog and passengers at all times. One sudden brake and your dog will be catapulting onto your lap or worse. As mentioned above, if necessary, get a doggy seatbelt to restrain him, or purchase a crate.
- Place a blanket and familiar toys in the boot or crate (if applicable) to ensure your dog’s comfort and to entertain him.
- Make sure he has relieved himself before departure and feed him a good few hours before you leave so he’s not travelling on a full stomach.
- Stop often to allow him to stretch his legs, get rid of pent-up energy, relieve himself and have water and a snack. (every hour or so).
- Pack plastic bags so you can pick up after your dog.
- Leave your dog in the car, even for a few minutes. The heat inside the car can quickly become an oven.
- Feed your dog on the move. Rather wait until you are at a rest stop.
- Let him hang his head out the window. Debris could get into his eyes or he could even be hit by a passing vehicle.
- Open a car door if your dog is unrestrained. He could easily surprise you and jump out.
- It’s not recommended to medicate (or sedate) your dog. If you remain calm, and ensure your dog is comfortable at all times, the chances are he will travel well with no need for medication.
ONCE YOU’RE THERE
- Allow your dog to run around and get used to the new smells.
- Obey all rules as laid out by the destination, eg dogs on a leash etc.
- Stick to your usual routine with regards to feeding times, daily walks etc. Dogs thrive on routine and will ultimately remain happier and calmer.
- Let your dog run amok. Remain assertive and in control of your pet at all times.
- Allow your dog to bark incessantly, or go begging to your neighbours. It can be annoying for other holidaymakers and embarrassing for you.
With a little research
and a lot of planning, a trip with your pooch need not be stressful for you or him. And it will make your holiday complete with all members of the family in tow!
No time for Date Night? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Not everyone has the luxury of being able to set aside an entire evening to spend with their partner, no matter how badly they want to.
Couples with young children, partners who date across borders, students juggling jobs and course loads – there are many people who are living extremely busy lives but still want to keep the spark alive.
Fortunately, all it takes is a little creativity. A ‘date’ doesn’t have to be a full-on night on the town with a swanky limo and high heels. A date can be 30 minutes of quality time with your partner in the midst of a hectic day.
Here are a few ways to sneak in a few moments to spend with Your Person when you just don’t have the time:
CHAT THEM UP BEFORE BREAKFAST
No time to hang out in the morning? Get a quick chat in before you both storm off for work by joining your partner in the bathroom. Bring your cup of coffee, perch on the edge of the tub while they do their showering and shaving and get to grips with what the day ahead holds for you both.
This is a straightforward way to keep track of what’s going on in your partner’s life and being cognisant of any stress they’re under. It’s also a great time to give each other a little ‘carpe diem’ pep talk.
MEET UP FOR LUNCH
Nice try, right? Who has the time to pack up in the middle of the day and brave the traffic to a restaurant where you have to wait for at least 45 minutes for your meal? It just doesn’t add up.
Easy fix! Pack a sandwich or salad, close the office door and have a 30-minute Skype or Facetime conversation with your partner while you both enjoy your lunch. If you enjoy gaming, you could even indulge in a quick game of online chess (or World of Warcraft if you’re that advanced).
EMBRACE THE VOICE NOTE
If you’re really in a ‘ships passing in the night’ phase due to clashing schedules, it’s time to embrace the voice note. It’s not always an appropriate time to call and drag your partner out of a meeting or important frame of mind to engage with you on an unrelated matter, but you can leave them a voice note to listen to when they have the time.
Whenever you see or hear something you thought might interest them, or even just make them smile, hit the record button and send them a note to brighten their day. Even a string of silly emojis could do the trick on a particularly hectic day – you just want them to know you’re thinking about them.
There you have it – three ways to sneak in small ‘dates’ when you are starved for time. We bet you didn’t know that such simple interactions could even be seen as a date, right? That’s the point! We’re here to tell you that every moment you consciously spend with or on your partner is an investment in the longevity of your relationship. So, make a point of doing it as often as you can.
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