Hunting season brings many of us the opportunity to travel in pursuit of game. This is a great opportunity for you and your dog to explore new
territory and challenges. One of those challenges can be getting your dog comfortably from point A to point B. Travel can be stressful for your pup, and that can inhibit his/her ability to achieve maximum performance in the field.
Stick to Wheels When Possible- While many airlines offer outstanding animal services, the car is really the preferred place for your pup. The trip through claims and being stored under an airplane is likely to cause your dog more stress than an extended car ride. Sometimes, it’s just not feasible to get there any other way, but keep your dog’s comfort in mind when making your travel plans.
Easy on the Meals- While many of us might like loading up on a big meal before hitting the dusty trail, it can cause intestinal distress for your dog. Instead of large feeding before a long period in the truck, stick to lighter feedings more often.
Frequent Bio Breaks- Fighting the urge to use the bathroom for many miles is an uncomfortable situation for all of us, dogs included. Chances are, if you need a break, so does your dog. When making stops, be sure to find dog-friendly areas so your hunting partner can enjoy his own break.
Test Rides- You don’t take your dog into the field without training, and you shouldn’t take him from home to a 16 hour car ride without some training either. If you intend to travel with your dog, try to take him on some test drives around town. Think of distances longer than the vet and back. Consider a Sunday joy ride for you dog and the family. This will make it easier for your dog to adjust on the road.
Allow Plenty of Time- Don’t try to rush the journey by skipping breaks. The goal is to reach your destination with your dog as ready to hunt as possible. Not just to arrive. Keep a steady pace and make the trip enjoyable for both of you. If you know your dog is especially jumpy when it comes to travel, try to arrive a day early to give him/her some time to get calm before it’s time to perform.
Safe travels and happy hunting!