Traveling in an automobile, with the family dog, is often challenging under the best of circumstances. When the family dog is also diabetic, it opens up a host of new and sometimes delicate issues. A pet parent must deal with and overcome these issues in order to have a fun, safe, and stress free, vacation or road trip.
How to Pack for a Diabetic Dog
Being prepared is an absolute necessity when packing the needed supplies for a diabetic dog. Create a check list of items the dog will need while it is away from home. Below is a list of a few items pet owners will want to be sure that they do not forget to pack.
- Insulin — a small inexpensive cooler is ideal for keeping insulin, as well as already prepared food, from getting too hot and spoiling.
- Syringes — make sure and bring plenty of extra syringes. If for some reason your trip lasts longer than expected you do not want to be caught away from home with a diabetic dog and no syringes.
- Water — diabetic dogs, like diabetic people, get thirsty often. Be sure to provide plenty of water when traveling. Make sure to also provide plenty of stops, so the dog can go to the bathroom, to avoid messy accidents inside the vehicle.
- Food — most diabetic dogs require a specialized diet of veterinarian approved, low sugar and carbohydrate food. If your dog eats canned food or dry nuggets, be sure to bring extra. If your dog eats a specialized, homemade style dog food, it is a good idea to have food cooked ahead of time and measured, per meal, into individual zip-lock baggies.
- Glucose testing kit — in some cases the veterinarian will simply require diabetic dog owners to bring their pet into the clinic for a monthly glucose test. In other cases it is necessary for pet parents to regularly monitor their dogs’ sugar level. If testing is required, be sure to keep the testing kit packed with the insulin and food, to avoid having to hunt for it amidst other baggage.
- Toys and bedding — be sure to pack the diabetic dogs’ favorite toy, bed, blanket, or pillow. Having familiar items nearby will help to alleviate undue stress.
Pet Friendly Hotels, Motels, Campgrounds, and RV Parks
Before leaving home on a vacation or road trip with a diabetic dog, it is important to know, ahead of time, if there will be hotels, campgrounds, or recreational vehicle parks that allow pets. Plan your travel route around lodging’s that are pet-friendly. A phone call to the office where you intend to stay, before the scheduled trip, will ensure less hassle when you arrive.
Stick to the Diabetic Dogs’ Regular Schedule
Most parents of a diabetic dog, already know how important it is to keep their pet on a regular feeding and exercise schedule. When traveling, it is more important than ever to stick as closely as possible to the normal routine. Breaking routine can cause undue stress on the diabetic animal, who may already be somewhat stressed from traveling. Stress can have an adverse effect on a diabetic pet. Glucose levels can become elevated if the dog becomes overly upset or stressed out.
Plan Carefully When Traveling With a Diabetic Dog
Advanced planning, when taking a vacation or a road trip with a diabetic dog, is extremely important. Remember to pack diabetic supplies carefully, call ahead for pet-friendly lodgings, and stick as closely as possible to regular routines, to ensure a healthy, safe, and fun, travel experience.