5 Summer Road Trip Tips

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Keep safety in mind when you travel with your canine pal this summer.

1. Refresh your training. Before hitting the road, practice life-saving commands, especially “Come” and “Stay”, so that your dog doesn’t get lost in an unfamiliar place.

2. Bring a good crate or restraint. Your dog might love to feel his ears flapping in the wind, but it’s simply not a safe practice. Keeping him confined and restrained in a crash-tested crate will prevent him from distracting the driver or being injured in a collision. Some states have enacted laws which prohibit driving with an unrestrained dog in your vehicle. Minnesota laws does have requirements while transporting animals in the open area of a truck, such as the back of a pickup.

3. Where you go, he goes. Never leave your dog alone in a car, even with the windows cracked. Car temperatures increase dramatically and rapidly in the summer months, and it doesn’t take long for a situation to go from uncomfortable to deadly. For example, at just 70° on a sunny day, after a half hour, the temperature inside a car is 104°. After an hour, it can reach 113°. When temperatures outside range from 80 to 100°, temperature inside a car parked in direct sunlight can quickly climb to between 130 to 172°.

4. Bring identification. Be prepared in case your dog does get separated from you. Make sure he’s wearing a secure collar with your up-to-date contact information and proof of vaccinations. Microchips and smart collars increase the likelihood your pet will be returned.

5. Allow for frequent bathroom stops and water breaks. It’s often tempting to drive straight to your destination, but your dog might be nervous from the trip.  He might need more water breaks and opportunities to relieve himself.  Keep in mind that many rest areas now have pet friendly sections and amenities.

Remember these simple tips to keep your dog safe and comfortable as you travel together this summer!

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