A Pug In Scotland
Recently I went on my first excursion away, A long way all the way to the top of Scotland (which is a LONG drive from flat Norfolk over 1000 miles all round) This was my first time travelling for a long period of time so the humans were worried how I would cope.
The most important thing you need and MUST have is a doggy seat belt (It is now the law), Like the red one in the photo below, it just clips onto the harness and plugs straight in! safety is a must. I would recommend using a harness to have more control as a collar could cause choking. We found my Julius K9 harness better than the one used below as this one rubbed quite a bit (having it on for long periods of time gave me skin tags in my soft under leg areas.)
Now, we traveled in a van so we all sat in the front, the human covered the seat in a soft blanket for me and brought along a couple of my favourite toys. If you travel in the back you can get doggy booster seats but we didn’t have the room . I rarely played with toys on the journey up I was too busy sniffing the air vent.
It took me a good 45 minutes before I calmed down and stopped panting (realised we wern’t going to the vets! phew) but I stayed alert for the whole drive up (before we stopped to sleep 12hrs later!) It is very important to have regular rest breaks same as the humans do, stretch those legs, have a wee, maybe a drink. The human stuck to my normal eating times so I got dinner at around 4 on a rest stop.
Another top tip is to make a special dog bag, a separate bag with all the essentials. In mine I had a new bag of Lily’s Kitchen Food, A bottle of water, My pop up water bowl, Dinner bowl and my own personal towel (To wipe them paws before getting back in the van) I also had another harness, Normal Lead, Extender lead and collar as well as a waterproof jacket and normal coat. (In hindsight we should have taken some flea and tick repellent but we will get on to that later) In the front of the van in front of the seat I had my bed and my toys.
We spent some nights in the wild sleeping in the van by roads and in woods but I adapted very well and just did as the humans did, One thing we all learned was that Scotland is very abundant in ticks! and while walking in Fourpenny Wood, I picked up 5! (the humans freaked because they got some too) By this time we had reached our first destination and were staying in a caravan, although we had no internet and very weak signal we managed to contact the humans mum for help on what to do!
Later research revealed that I had one adult female sheep tick which looked exactly like the photo (only very small) and 4 baby ones which were all black and even smaller! Human luckily had some tweezers and they checked me head to tail (ticks are pretty simple to remove, you can a tool for this, or use tweezers pinching at the front and pulling up) the black ones came out no issue but the bigger one left its mouth parts in and was tougher to remove, leaving the mouth parts in can cause infection so it is vital to remove them all! humans managed to remove everything and I didn’t cry or wriggle, I was good. It left a little spot and lump which was quite red (humans fault) After a few days it was all healed and gone. Ticks generally will just feed until bloated and fall off and they do attach to humans too!
Be wary walking through tall brush, grass or plants and I would recommend taking some Frontline spray with you, you can just wet a cotton bud with it and touch it over the tick and it should just let go by itself.
While having our much needed rest staying at the caravan I was able to rest by a warm fire, have a shower (got sandy on the beach) and recuperate my energy for the next week of our trip, Keeping clean is important the humans cleaned my wrinkle, my nose and ears, checked my eyes, feet and now (lol) checked for ticks regularly. Baby wipes rule.
By now I was a pro at traveling and was into the routine of it all, after getting into my seat I would now lay down and nap, chew on my antler or suck on my burger toy, I went to look around old prisons and went on 2 boat trips, walked along Embo beach and had so much fun. My humans could relax knowing I didnt get sick in the Van (although they didnt risk feeding me treats). By the time it came to drive home I actually slept the whole way, only waking up for pee an food breaks!
So my round up of top tips for dogs traveling or camping are;
Pack a special bag for your dog – Just the essentials (They don’t need a lot) and keep it handy.
Food, Water, Bowls, Toys, Towel, Harnesses/ Collar, Leads, Bed, Blanket, Tick/Flea Repellent, Coats (If they need them) and baby wipes!
Always use a doggy seat belt
Take regular pee breaks – walk around on the lead – give water every few hours – feed at normal times
Keep poo bags handy at all times!
Traveling with a pet is not a hindrance, each dog is different and adapt differently to their situations the humans had no idea how I would be until it was happening. I mean I had my moments (became more vocal than usual) but overall it was a rewarding experience and now I am all set for when we goto Wales next..
To Be Continued…