My new article in the Winter 2016 issue of Fido Friendly Magazine was just released. You can see an enlargement of the page from the magazine or read the full text below.

Q: We are planning a three-day drive with our two dogs. We’ve booked Fido friendly hotels, but what advice can you offer regarding potty breaks, mealtime, and unexpected bad weather to keep them safe?

Check your reservation to determine size or breed restrictions, if your dogs have to be confined to a crate when unattended, and if the hotel supplies a “Caution: Dog in Room” sign.

Pack a doggy suitcase with essentials: first aid kit; vet contact and emergency pet hospitals; medications; vaccinations; food; treat pouch; collapsible water bowl and water; towels; blankets; favorite toy; potty bags; Martingale-style soft, non-slip collar, properly-fitting harness or head halter, 6-foot leash; and, if necessary, a crate and a muzzle for an emergency. Make sure microchips and tags are current. Check the forecast … pack booties (warm and cool temps), life vest, doggie sunscreen, and even shades!

Research crash-tested doggie seatbelts and car seats or use a cushioned crate secured to not tip over. Make sure your dog has gone potty before you depart!

For travel stress, try these to calm your pup:

  • Anxiety Wrap or Thunder Shirt: acupressure points help dogs relax.
  • Calming Cap: reduces vision (but they can still see).
  • Canine Appeasing Pheromones: relaxes puppies and adult dogs; Dog Appeasing Pheromones (DAP) are synthetic pheromones that mimic those released during lactation and give puppies a sense of well being and reassurance.
  • Lavender oil: dabbed on the collar to reduce anxiety.
  • Windows: reduce anxiety by not letting Fido see out the side window.
  • Drive calmly and play “spa” music in the car.
  • Peppermint, ginger, fennel, dill, cinnamon, and Coconut oil (use as directed) can soothe the stomach. True motion sickness is physiological, so talk to your veterinarian about any concerns.

Travel and road trips can throw off mealtime, so if you end up at a fast-food joint, share just a few bites. Order a plain burger or grilled chicken sandwich “hold everything” or bring tasty travel treats to share with Fido:

  • Carrots
  • Blueberries
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • String cheese
  • Homemade yam, kale, or banana chips… to name a few!

When giving your pups a roadside potty break, keep distractions low and encourage sniffing and circling, as they are more likely to do their business. Most importantly, before entering your Fido-friendly hotel, find an appropriate potty area. You don’t want your first impression to be your pooch watering the lobby!