Those who are looking for independence and also want to explore the world on gravel roads are like me with an off-road vehicle. The more fun it is if you also have your beloved fur nose with you.
So I enjoy the intensive time with Romeo. Exploring new areas on foot, experiencing adventures and cuddling together in the roof tent.
That sounds quite simple! Yes, it is. When you pay attention to the following points, your trip will be an unforgettable experience. The bond to your fur nose becomes deeper and more trusting. A relaxed and happy dog is all we want, isn’t it?
1. The appropriate place
Make sure that your dog feels comfortable during the ride. This includes a suitable place in the car. The quadruped should be able to stand and move. There are suitable dog boxes. I personally want to be able to keep an eye on Romeo, so I can see him in the rear-view mirror.
2. Driving training for your dog
Driving a car must be learned. Dogs do not feel comfortable in the car from the very beginning. Romeo is a sensitive little one. It took him about 1 year to get used to it. Initially he puked, drooled and trembled. Intensive training and deep trust helped him to love driving.
Natural casein to calm him down
Breastmilk gives the puppy casein. It soothes him naturally and helps him explore the world without fear.
This is exactly what Zylkene builds on. It is pure casein, like in breast milk. This has a calming effect and the fur nose feels protected. It is NOT a sedative, it is purely natural and the dog has no side effects. He does NOT become apathetic. Zylkene is available for all dog sizes. It is simply spread over the food and accepted without problems. This is my personal recommendation for the first car trips! You can buy it here! P.S. It also exists for cats, the principle is exactly the same! (Zylkene Manufacturer Site)
The Thundershirt has a special cut which has a calming effect due to the light pressure on the body. It can be used in various fear situations of the dog such as fireworks, driving, traveling, etc. Here you can buy it.
3. Water and food
Romeo reacts very sensitively to food changes. Diarrhoea is only one of many symptoms. No one wants something like that on holiday? Not me. For this reason I take the complete food ration with me from home. In my case this means canned and dry food, monoprotein and grain-free. Not every dog reacts so sensitively to other food. All the better for you, then you don’t have to carry everything with you. 😉
I feed Insect Dog and Veggie Dog from Green Pet Food. You can buy it here.
As wet food I take a few cans from Hermann’s Manufaktur with me. This is 100% pure meat, monoprotein and grain-free. Buy it here.
Water is almost more important than food. A dog can live without food for a long time, but not without water. During warm weather he needs even more. So it must always be available. For this purpose I use a special travel bowl from Hunter, which can remain filled in the car. The quality of the water is the same as drinking water.
Beware when drinking from lakes, ponds, streams: avoid it as you do not know where the water comes from. The bacterium Leptospira interrogans occurs worldwide in stagnant water, mud, moist soil. This can trigger leptospirosis. A disease that is often fatal. Also found in humans. There is a vaccination for the dog which covers a small part of these bacteria.
4. Walking and resting for humans and animals
I recommend taking regular breaks, preferably every 2 hours. Walking is also good for people and promotes concentration. I try to avoid motorway service areas. I usually drive off the motorway and look for a sheltered spot. There is more peace and space for people and animals.
5. Heat and cold
Basic rule: never leave your dog unattended in the car in the blazing sun.
A place in the shade and wide open windows are essential. For this reason I have barred the rear sliding windows of my Land Rover Defender. I can leave the windows wide open and no one can reach in. When both sides are open, there is a constant flow of air. Important! The sun wanders. A shadow place can quickly become a sun place. Never leave the dog alone for a long time.
But attention! Each dog is different. Depending on breed and type he tolerates heat better or less well.
Since Romeo has hardly any coat and no undercoat, he tolerates heat up to 35C° excellently. He does not even pant. As he is an Andalusian Podenco and bred for hunting rabbits, he needs little water and tolerates heat. On the other hand, in autumn/winter he is already freezing at 15C°. That’ s why he usually wears a fleece coat. 😉
Also low temperatures can be problematic for the fur nose. Sometimes it may be necessary to dress the quadruped or to cover him with a warm blanket. A auxiliary heating in the vehicle helps additionally. Remember that when a heater is in use, a window should always be open one gap wide. In this case ventilation is also important for the dog.
6. International Vaccination Pass
Animals on travel require an international vaccination certificate and must be chipped.
All necessary vaccinations and medical treatments must be up to date. Important! Discuss your trip with your vet and check with the country you are visiting. Regulations may change from year to year. Therefore, I advise you to always check for the latest information.
Most important vaccinations
Rabies vaccination is necessary in almost every country in the world. Many countries require a rabies serology test and a detailed health check before the dog can enter the country.
Rabies Serology Test: This test proves whether your fur nose has developed a sufficient antibody response. In most countries it is necessary to do this test 3 weeks after the last rabies vaccination. Some countries require a longer waiting period. Check with the competent authorities of the country of destination to be sure.
Regular booster vaccinations every 3 years are advisable. Please ask the veterinarian you trust.
Regular deworming while travelling is essential. Milbemax is a broadband deworming agent. It is used to prevent heart worms and to treat infections caused by roundworms, hookworms and tapeworms.
Romeo is always given one tablet three days before departure and 30 & 60 days after our return. This is due to the long life cycle of heartworms. They survive longer than 30 days. Be aware, the treatment depends on the duration of the trip. It may be necessary to administer a worm tablet every month. Ask your vet for more details.
Scalibor is an protectorband that keeps away many dangerous insects such as fleas, ticks and sand flies. The nerve poison is distributed continuously on the coat of the dog. The insects die as a result. Some dogs react hypersensitively with rashes such as Romeo.
I use a natural remedy from Anibio, Melaflon. They are drops that I drip on the neck every 4 weeks. To avoid ticks, I always use natural coconut oil. However, this must be used daily. The natural lauric acid in coconut oil makes the ticks get drunk, tired and sick. They don’t want to bite any more and let themselves fall to the ground. Absolutely recommendable!
This is a deadly disease for humans and dogs. Leishmaniasis is transmitted by the sand fly. The fly is active at dusk, lives close to the ground and does not fly high. That is why many dogs are infected. The sand fly can be found all over the world, even in Germany, North America and Canada.
Since Romeo comes from Portugal, I started treatment early to protect him from leishmaniasis. I give him Leisguard twice a year.
Leisguard can prevent and treat this disease. It is an adjuvant that strengthens the body’s own TH1 immune defence. For prevention it must be given to the dog for 4 weeks. The dose depends on the body weight. The oral vaccination lasts 4 months. In the Mediterranean region it is recommended to treat the dogs three times a year in February, June and October. An open bottle can be kept in the refrigerator for eight months after the first opening. You can order it here.
Recently, an annual vaccination is also available in the EU. The serum is called CaniLeish and has a similar effect to Leisguard. CaniLeish must be refreshed once a year. It is only allowed in dogs tested negative for leishmaniasis.
Lepto 6 protects against 6 different types of leptospires. It is best to refresh it annually in spring. Leptospirosis can be fatal for the dog. But it is also transferable to humans. All the more important to protect the fur nose from it.
Zwinger cough, parvovirosis, distemper, hepatitis
Nobivac® DHPPi ad us. vet. is refreshed every 3 years and is a reliable protection.
The vet you trust will be happy to advise you and a visit before a trip is essential.