Owning a special-needs dog is as rewarding as owning a regular dog.
These disabled dogs can offer loyalty, unconditional love, and companionship to their owners. They are always happy and are very appreciative when you take them out.
Most of these dogs are rarely taken on trip journeys so they are always very grateful for the few times they go out. There is, however, some measures you should take when traveling with a disabled dog.
Getting Ready Before Traveling
Preparation is always the first step for traveling.
It is important to bring the dog’s food and water as well as a sling or wheelchair if you have one for your dog. You should also pack up his normal dishes, plastic sheeting (useful to cover the carpet in hotels), baby wipes and washable bedding (old towels would do).
In addition, you might need disposable diapers if the dog is incontinent, a circle playpen for dogs to restrict him on the plastic while at the hotel and secure him from other curious dogs, floor protector, and a ramp.
You should also try to get the names, addresses and phone numbers of veterinarians in the town you are traveling to. This is necessary in case your dog suddenly has sores, bladder infections or needs any other veterinary attention.
And, it goes without saying that you should have your normal veterinarian’s number handy.
Ensure the dog’s ID tag is worn and it is properly dated. In addition, the tag should contain specific information about your dog conditions, for example, if the dog is epileptic or diabetic or has any other special needs.
On The Road With Your Disabled Dog.
When you are on the road, you might have to stop occasionally for your dog to relieve himself. Try to position the dog in such a way that he can see through the window and that he is comfortable. If the dog cannot control its bladder, you can get diapers for adults with a hole for the tail. This could be supported by some old towels.
If you are stopping over in a hotel for the night, ensure that you to have easy direct access to the hotel’s outdoor area. This way you won’t have to struggle with stairs before getting your dog to the room.
You could also check for hotels that have pet rooms or suites. In some cases, the pet rooms have a little kitchen where the dog can eat. These hotels are often affordable and you would have a little refrigerator, where you can store your dog’s drugs, a bigger sink for preparing the dog’s food and cleaning up as well as a floor made from linoleum in case of accidents.
At the desired destination
When you get to the place you are traveling to, create a place for the disabled dog by putting a plastic cover on the room’s carpet or floor. You should subsequently add old towels or other comfortable bedding that you brought along.
For a scooter, use a playpen to surround the plastic. If your dog is not trained to control his bladder, try to locate the Laundromats where you can clean bedding as necessary.
While preparing to travel, prepare to take your dog along. Most dogs get scared or get insecure if you go out without them or just leave them in an unfamiliar room in the hotel.
Plan your outdoor activities around locations where your dog can be with you. You should thus be able to take your dog along to restaurants, dog-friendly attractions, parks, and beaches.
In the event that you must visit places where you cannot bring your dog, then it is important that you bring along someone who the dog is familiar with, to keep him company.
A dog with his cart can be taken to virtually all locations.
A dog that can walk can also visit anywhere there is access and ramps. Otherwise, your dog could just relax in the hotel with his babysitter, as opposed to being bored on an outing.
You should ensure that you plan all your activities before you travel. Plan for the dog as well and ensure you, or an individual the dog is familiar with will always be around the dog at all times.
Research and know the places you can go along with your dog and places where your dog is not welcome.
You can also drop the dog in a daycare or kennel if it’s needed. However, you need to look up the best daycare and kennels, especially the ones that can take care of disabled dogs. Ensure that your dog is healthy and all his vaccinations have been completed.
Other Considerations When Traveling With Your Disabled Dog
Sometimes your disabled dog might have a sensitive stomach. In this case, you should maintain a diet you are sure your dog is comfortable with.
Do not give in to the temptation of giving him new foods just because you want to give him a treat. This could result in diarrhea and other forms of upset stomach that could embarrass you and your dog. Ensure you only feed him foods you are sure he is comfortable with, make sure he doesn’t overeat and make sure he rests a bit after eating before moving around.
Generally, you would be able to have a lot of fun with your dog if you prepare well. You will also draw the attention of other pets lovers as a lot of people love people who take care of their dogs. They are further attracted to individuals that care for handicapped pets.
Kassidy Shepperd is the editor in chief for Canine-Prime.com. She is is a dog lover/trainer, a freelance writer and a volunteer at many pet rescue and shelter centers. Kassidy is based in Colorado and regularly writes for dog related magazines and blogs.