For a lot of people, traveling and camping with their dog is one of the best things about summer. While heading into the great outdoors with Fido can be a lot of fun, it’s important to be aware of the dangers and take precautions.

Safe transport. Depending on where your pet will be riding, a travel crate or seatbelt harness is the best way to go. If you opt for a harness, make sure you choose one that will keep your pet secure in a crash, not just a snap-on device. Using a crate? The Center for Pet Safety recommends that crates be attached to vehicle walls for safety.

Make sure your pet has ID inside and out. Your dog should not only have a collar and identification tags (double check that the info hasn’t worn off), but a microchip as well. Collars can get removed or lost, but a microchip—with your current contact information—will greatly increase the chances that your pet is returned to you if he or she goes missing.

Tick prevention is a must. These tiny bloodsuckers often carry diseases that can make you and your pet sick. Even if your pet is current on prevention medication, it’s a good idea to check for ticks daily as these insects can jump from dogs to humans easily.

Watch for wildlife. Coyote, hawks, bears and other animals have been known to track, snatch and kill pets. Raccoons and possum could fight with your dog over food. It’s best to walk your dog on a non-extendable lead and never leave your pet tied up at a campsite unsupervised.

Smoke signals. Animals can suffer health problems from breathing smoky air over time, especially those who already have some respiratory or cardiac issues. Watch your pet for signs of smoke irritation like coughing, gagging, nasal discharge, fatigue and reduced appetite.

If air quality is being affected by smoke from campfires, wildfires or any other source, here are some tips to keep your pet breathing easy.

  • Pets and birds should be kept indoors with windows shut
  • Avoid long or intense outdoor exercise during times when air quality is poor
  • Watch pets with cardiovascular or respiratory issues closely for signs of distress

It’s always a good idea to get in for a check-up before traveling or camping to make sure your pet is current on vaccinations, has the parasite protection needed, and that he or she is healthy enough to travel. To schedule an appointment, call us at (574) 248-4057.