After Zeke’s diagnosis of severe congestive heart failure, I decided this was going to be the year to embark on as many adventures as we could. Thankfully, Zeke is responding well to the medications the cardiologist veterinarian prescribed. Let the travels begin, I exclaimed!
Travelling with a pet has its advantages. You can talk out loud and another being is listening. You can stop more often and take in the scenery, because after all, your travel companion needs a pit stop as well. Right? You can share a crummy hamburger that is just OK for your consumption but a delicacy to any dog.
The most helpful tool was having a Thule cargo box. Packing as much as I could in the Thule gave Zeke more room in the back of my Ford Escape, which he is accustomed to in our everyday outings. My goal is to make sure he will be comfortable on our road trips, to be able to stretch his lanky body and do what dogs do best: snooze.
The medications Zeke is taking has made me more keenly aware that he does require more water. So, we simply scheduled stops every 1.5 hours. Thank goodness I can get him to “go” when I suggest it. I also made sure we had more than enough water for the entire trip. I honestly feel that it helped me to be hydrated as well.
I learned a few things about this road trip that I want to share, and one very significant item is simply walking your dog during your stops. A rest stop for us humans is not fulfilling enough for our dogs. When we take the time to walk and exercise our dogs, they are happier, more at ease and that leads to less anxiety.
Dog walking etiquette is always essential, but on the road requires a special set of guidelines so that you show consideration for the areas you happen to choose. Use smart phone apps such as Road Trippers or Around Me to find locations that will work for your dog.
Most rest areas have pet zones, but stops for snacks or meals are different. Find a place to park that is not near a business and make sure you are prepared to pick up. Be discreet and be aware of others. It’s a bonus to find a park for your pet break, and I was able to do this with a road trip app for my smart phone.
Of course, the leash is the most valuable tool we have for dog walking! When Zeke was a puppy he chewed leashes on a regular basis. I posted a photo on Twitter of another leash destroyed and Fozzy Dog replied to my tweet. They are a local Boise, Idaho company and if they paid attention to my Twitter feed, then I was going to pay attention to their product. This was 3 years ago and my leash is still intact!
The best part of this particular leash is that there is a pocket to stash bags. Honestly, being prepared when walking your dog for a break during a long drive makes life easier. Dog etiquette in these circumstances is upon the owner. Be respectful of your surroundings and the others will respect you.
Zeke and I had a great time driving to the Washington coast, spending a week in Friday Harbor and then extending our stay with five days in Gig Harbor. Sunshine, water, friends, other dogs, community meals, laughter, barking, relaxing. A number of Zeke bucket list items were checked. Yes, our first long road trip was a fantastic success!
On another note, this post from Rover.com is helpful to keep dog etiquette in mind whether you are travelling or in your own neighborhood! This particular post should be a dog owner’s bible. Do’s & Don’ts of Dog Ownership Etiquette
#roadtrip #roadtripwithadog #fozzydog #dogetiquette