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K9 Buddy Curriculum: Going on a Trip with Your K9 Buddy

Going on a Trip with Your K9 Buddy
Travel provides many opportunities for pleasure and adventure. There are times it may possible and appropriate for your K9 Buddy dog to join you on a trip. However, keep in mind that K9 Buddy dogs do not have access rights as a service animal would, therefore they are not permitted to fly in the cabin of an airplane, ride public transportation, or travel in ride-share vehicles. If traveling by personal vehicle and staying with in pet-friendly accommodations, your dog may enjoy taking part in your adventure. Planning ahead will help minimize hassles and help you manage the unexpected.

Feeding and Watering When Traveling
You may wish to slightly adjust your dog’s feeding and watering schedule by reducing their ration or feeding smaller, more frequent meals before a longer car trip. If your dog has a special medical issue, check with your veterinarian for food and water requirements. Remember that adjustments in this schedule may impact their regular relieving times.

When planning your trip, you will need to factor in relieving times for your dog, as well as opportunities for them to stretch their legs. When you reach your destination relieve your dog as soon as possible. Once settled following the trip, feed and water your dog as is appropriate for their schedule.

What to Bring
If you are traveling away from your home for a number of days, pack a portable bowl, baggies and plenty of dog food. Bring along any medications your dog may be taking as well, Some other items you might consider bringing are; a crate, a tie down, a dog bed, favorite toys, and a head collar.

If you are planning to rent a house or stay in a hotel, be sure to check that they are pet friendly. K9 Buddy dogs are subject to all pet policies. Familiarize yourself with their guidelines (such as where they would prefer you relieve your dog, if they allow dogs on the furniture, if they charge a pet cleaning fee, etc.) before your arrival to ensure your trip goes as smoothly as possible.

Traveling by Car
Where your dog rides in a vehicle depends on both the layout of the vehicle and your preferences. Ensure your dog has a safe, comfortable spot in the car away from airbags. Some smaller cars leave no other option than the dog riding on the seat. If you choose to allow your dog on a seat, keep your dog in one spot with their head inside the car. To keep the seat clean, you may want to lay down a towel or sheet for the dog.

If riding in the back of the car, provide traction for them as some dogs can become worried if they are sliding around in the car or provide a secured crate for the ride.

Entering a Vehicle
When you will be riding with your dog at your feet, you may want to enter first. Locate the car door and give a “wait” verbal cue; your dog may sit or stand while it waits. As you sit down, leave one leg out and call your dog in with the release word, “OK”. Have your dog sit either facing you or sideways. If in the front seat, your dog will be facing you with its hindquarters under the dash. Bring your leg inside between the dog and the door. If someone is holding the door for you, you can let them know when to close the door or you may want to do it yourself, since you will know when you have the dog safely situated with the feet and tail tucked in and away from the door.

Pick-Up Trucks
Many states now prohibit loose dogs in the back of open pick up trucks. Dogs need to either be cross-tied or in a crate. This law has prevented car accidents and saved the lives of many dogs. If you must transport your dog in the back of an open (or covered) pick up truck, do so only in a kennel crate. Securely fasten it to the truck so it is unable to slide around. Also to consider during hot weather for uncovered pick-up trucks; while newer trucks have fitted composite inserts that do not get extremely hot in the sun, earlier model pick-up trucks have metal beds which may become burning hot in the sun. For extremes in temperature, use your best judgment; you may need to find room inside the cab of the vehicle for the safety and comfort of your dog.

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