Summer vacations are a great opportunity to bond with your dog, especially if your trip takes you to some of the wonderful destinations that Greece has to offer. However, you must always keep in mind that a successful (road) trip with your dog requires good planning, patience, and some flexibility.
We have gathered some tips from our personal experience traveling with Tassos and Koukis to make the journey on the road an unforgettable experience for everyone.
First. Make sure your dog is ready for this trip. No two dogs are alike, but the last thing you want on your backseat is a dog getting dizzy at every turn. One good tip is to start taking short car rides, starting at least a few weeks before the real journey. Ideally, try to go somewhere for a walk or a game. This will further help your dog to re-establish their relationship with the «bad» car if entering the car usually means ending up to the vet’s office.
Secondly. The microchip and the collar identity. Nobody expects their dog to be lost, but we must always be prepared for the worst-case scenario (and not just during the trip). Be sure your dog bears an ID with their name and your contact details on their collar, as well as a microchip with up-to-date information.
As soon as we are sure about the above, next thing is… the suitcase! The first thing to put in is the dog’s health booklet, not only in case you may need to visit a veterinarian during the trip, but because all pet-friendly hotels require our dogs to be accompanied by an up-to-date health booklet. That’s the rule!
Don’t forget to carry your dog’s food as well. Most of us give in to buying dog food at the destination. However, it is better to carry your own dog food. This is mainly due to the following two reasons: firstly, you will be equipped during the trip, but what is more important, if you do not find your dog’s usual food at the destination, this may unpleasantly affect their sensitive stomach. It is important to be consistent with your dog's food and water and not to change their eating habits. Make sure your dog eats the same hours they would eat if they were home. Also, make sure they get plenty of water!
During the trip, put their favorite toys and blanket in the car. This will make them feel comfortable and cozy. And since safety comes first, keep them tied with a special pet safety belt. Never let your dog roam freely the car.
As for the windows, they must be open enough to let the cabin be properly ventilated, but not to allow the dog to pull the head out it. Another thing about the windows is that the speed of the images passing through your dog’s field of vision may cause them dizziness and nausea. This can be solved by putting sunshades that block the view of the side windows.
Last but not least! No one wants to travel with a full stomach. Try to feed your dog a light meal about 3-4 hours before leaving. Remember though that a totally empty stomach will have the opposite effect.
Traveling with your dog can be a unique experience for both you and your furry love. Just remember that you have to be as prepared as possible wherever you go. The more prepared you are, the fewer surprises you are likely to face.
Have a nice trip!