Traveling With Your Chihuahua
Travel season is finally here again and that means hundreds of cats and dogs will be lost and never again found by their heartbroken owners. Many years ago I lost a dog for three days. They were among the worst days of my life but I learned a valuable lesson. No matter how careful and protective you think you are, it still can happen...even to you.
Before you set out for your travel adventures this year, take some precautions to be sure your Chihuahua stays safely with you at all times. Make your travel as great for your Chihuahua as it is for you.
So, what are some of the things you can do to prepare for your trip with your Chi?
Bring a harness with you and be sure it is secured properly on your Chi before opening any doors. I prefer a harness because of the Chihuahua's susceptibility to a collapsed trachea. The harness, if fit properly to the Chi's size, will put less pressure on the throat, or possibly no pressure at all. They are also more difficult for the Chi to slip out of.
Bring plenty of bottled water for both you and your Chihuahua. You may not always have fresh water available to you on your travels. You don't want your Chi to drink any water that you can't be 100% certain is fit for consumption.
Take your veterinary records and information with you. Place the documentation in a sealable plastic bag to protect it from getting wet or damaged. This will be very helpful should you have any emergencies along the way. Your Chihuahua may have an allergic reaction to something or simply have an unexpected medical emergency. If this happens you will want to be able to have quick contact with your own veterinarian for advice. Be sure you have their emergency number, as well as their regular office number.
Pack an ample supply of fresh food and treats. Plastic containers, like Tupperware, are great for keeping food and treats fresh. Be sure to check the package for refrigeration needs, if any. Like people food, some pet foods require refrigeration once opened. Unless you have an RV or other means of keeping the food cold for long periods of time, you may want to be careful of what you bring. Not all pet foods will necessarily be readily available to purchase along your travels. Once opened, food can spoil very quickly.
Plan to make scheduled stops to let your Chi get some exercise and do their duty, so to speak. The fresh air and movement will be good for you too. However, be careful of where you walk your Chi. It is not uncommon to find broken glass and other dangerous items along roadside stops.
Did you know that you can have a rice-sized microchip implanted in the scruff of your Chi's neck for tracking purposes should he/she become lost? Check with your Veterinarian or local animal hospital for more information on this unique tracking device. Many pets have been reunited with their rightful owners because of this tiny implant. These chips can be scanned by veterinarians and other medical facilities for the information necessary to bring your pet back home to you.
Pack your favorite shampoos and drying towels.
Don't forget flea and tic treatment. While these may not be necessary at home if your Chi is an indoor dog and using a litter box, when traveling they may need to go outdoors to relieve themselves.
Bandages are a good thing to have along in case they step on a small piece of glass or other sharp item at the many stops you will be making along the way.
Pack your Chi's favorite sweater. Depending on where you live, where you're traveling too, and when you are leaving, you may have a cool evening or two. Chihuahuas get cold very easily so have a coat or sweater just in case.
Bring a carrier or two. If you are traveling by plane you will want an airline approved carrier that can fit under the seat of the plane while in the air. When on the ground you may prefer a purse style carrier to keep your Chihuahua from being stepped on while shopping or in a crowd. These are available in various styles and sizes.
Okay, I know this seems like a lot of packing but it will be worth your while. Following are items you need to consider bringing with you when traveling with your pet:
Bandages and wound treatment
Carrier (airline and/or purse style)
Crate (if your Chi is used to being in one and you have room for it.)
Crate bedding material
Feeding dish and water dish
Fresh food and treats
Grooming needs (brush or wipe cloth)
Pet Blanket, bed or pillow
Medication (flea, tic, skin, other)
Veterinarian: regular phone no. and emergency phone no.
Veterinarian: medical records (history)
Veterinarian: list of ones along the route you are taking.
The bottom line is take precautions, prepare ahead of time, have a check list to be sure nothing is left behind by accident, and have a great vacation or trip with no mishaps along the way that can't be handled quickly and easily.
A long trip is much more pleasant if you are properly prepared and if everyone is able to stretch frequently so don't be in a hurry to reach your destination. Enjoy the trip from start to finish.
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