Planning is the first step to any adventure; while I’m planning for this summer look for a variety of Gear Up posts – starting with prepping for a lady’s best friend. No, not diamonds…my dog Aspen! On this list you’ll find items that I didn’t discover during my internet search for, “dog travel tips” or ones that I found that I think are critical.
- Copy of shot records – in the glove compartment of both my car and my boyfriend’s truck I stashed copies of Aspen’s shot records and rabies certificate. I don’t have to worry about them for each trip, they’re already packed.
- Waste bags – also in both vehicles – and every jacket pocket and backpack I own – are waste bags to pick up after my pup. It’s not the most glamorous part of being a dog owner, but every pile left behind in public areas tarnishes the dog owner name.
- Collar and ID tags – invest in a sturdy collar that stays put no matter how active your dog is. There are three tags on Aspen’s collar:
1. Her name and my phone number
2. The make of my tent and the make of my parents’ trailer with my phone number and my mom’s, who has a different service provider than I do in case one of us has service while the other doesn’t. The tent and trailer information is in case we’re somewhere without cell phone service, that way if a kindly stranger finds her lost they can find us – you know, if my frantic running around and shouting, “Aspen” doesn’t give me away…
3. Rabies tag
After replacing her tags due to wear-and-tear I’m going to try coating her new tags with clear nail polish and see if they last longer.
- Chip – if your dog has an identifying microchip, make sure your contact information is up-to-date with the company.
- Recent picture – I thought this one was genius and much more accurate than a description to a stranger when searching for a lost dog. With camera phones in just about everyone’s pockets these days I’m sure photos of Fido are easy to access. However, when traveling in the backcountry, cell phone batteries are not a thing to waste – I plan on using a recent picture of Aspen as a bookmark on every trip.
- Emergency plan – research ahead of time and find veterinary clinics in the areas you’re traveling. Plus, after Aspen’s unexpected trip to the vet last week it got me thinking, what would I have done had she cut her leg open in the backcountry? The vet recommended skin glue and my vet-tech friend recommended a gauze pad and medical tape (supposedly it sticks to fur, come here Aspen, I’ve got an experiment!). Either way my first aid kit needs a dog-friendly revamping – stay tuned for a more detailed post.
There are loads of dog travel tips in books and on the internet; these were just a few of my favorite. What do you do to get your dog ready for travel?