F.I.D.O.: Traveling with dogs.
What makes for a dog-friendly car?
Other than installing a hydrant in the back seat and a doghouse on the roof, there's not anything in particular you can do to make your car especially dog friendly.
But, there are a few things you can do to keep your car from being dog unfriendly. Before letting Fido jump in the back seat, take a moment to remove old fast food wrappers and any chemicals such as antifreeze or motor oil, which might be accessible.
How can I prevent travel sickness?
Well, you can always take Tommy's advice... and stay home.
Travel sickness is actually pretty common among dogs. As with their human companions, it's caused by the movement of the fluid in the inner ear, which can make your dog feel off balance.
Your best bet to avoid travel sickness is to get your dog used to traveling at an early age, which will also help reduce the anxiety associated with traveling. Have him sit in a stationary car when he's a puppy. Then, go on short trips, until he's used to the routine. This socialization to new experiences is very important for your dog.
If your dog frequently experiences bouts of travel sickness, and you're tired of vacuuming up his puke off the seats, talk to your vet. The first step will be withholding food and water before a trip, and prescribing an anti-nausea medicine. Some over the counter medicines work, but consult your vet first for the proper dosage and to make sure it's okay for your pet. Often times, putting your dog in a crate, so he can't see the world racing by at 70 mph, will provide some relief. (And, if it doesn't... at least the clean up will be easier!)
Sedatives are sometimes prescribed for long trips or dogs that suffer from severe travel sickness. In general, though, they're not a good idea. They can actually make it harder for a dog to adjust to travel, and can worsen other medical problems. If you're not sure, ask your vet. Chances are she might prescribe them -- for you.
How can I find out where I can stay with my dog?
Give us a call anytime. If they've taken Tommy, they'll almost certainly take your pet.
Most hotels are pet friendly, but with some restrictions, such as an additional security deposit. Plan ahead, so you and your pet are not stranded and sleeping in the car.
What if I need a vet while I'm on the road?
If you can get to the Internet, check the American Animal Hospital Association's animal hospital locator. Or, you can give them a call at 1-800-252-2242 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
We're going to a city. Where can I walk my dog?
We have no idea.
However, you can check out the searchable database at The Dog Park Web site We use it to find a place to walk our producer, Doug Berman, when we're on vacation.
Got any other tips for hitting the road with my dog?
Remember that traveling can be a traumatic experience for your dog. He's away from his usual surroundings -- and has to put up with your smell and musical tastes all day in the car. To ease his fears, bring a few of his favorite toys and blankets.
Make sure to plan bathroom breaks for your dog, as well as yourself, uring your travels. Bring appropriate supplies so no mess is left behind.
Check to make sure your dog is wearing a flat collar, with ID tags for both his home address, and any temporary address you might be using. Bring a leash -- and make sure the collar fits well, so there are no escapes!
In addition to old-fashioned dog tags, consider having a microchip ID implanted in your dog. If your dog ever gets lost or stolen, and winds up at a vet, he can be "scanned" for his ID, and you'll be contacted immediately. (We've implanted one in Tommy, with the optional electro-magnet package, and use it to get him to the show on time each weekend.)
For more information: for an article on Microchips in the Dog Owners Guide.
If you're both paranoid and neurotic, or just plain prone to bad luck, bring a good photo of your dog along, so you're ready to make posters when he heads for the hills.
When stopping, be especially careful at rest areas, which can pose all sorts of hazards, including errant vehicles, rotting food and toxic waste -- not to mention bigger, meaner dogs, or someone who thinks he can make a quick buck with a dognapping.
Finally, don't forget to toss the following few items into your car, before you roll out of the driveway: