So you’re thinking of going on a road trip with your dog? But maybe the thought of jetting out on a new adventure sounds a bit intimidating. We totally understand. The good news is that for many dog owners, it turns out to be a very rewarding and worthwhile experience!
Now to plan a bone-afied road trip with your pooch, your journey will likely require some extra planning and preparation. To help ensure your road trip with your dog goes off without a hitch, we’re here to discuss some helpful tips. So keep reading to learn them all. Afterall, the adventure of a lifetime may soon await!
Road Trip Essentials – What You’ll Need To Bring
Before we get to the meat and potatoes, let’s first discuss the essentials. Like what items to bring along for your road trip. Of course this list probably won’t include everything you’ll need, but it’s a great starting place. Here’s what we recommend bringing for doggy road trips:
- Food and water bowls & fresh water
- Long and short leashes
- Old towels & cleaning supplies
- Travel crate or carrier bag
- Dog bed and/or blankets
- Collar with ID tags
- Doggy waste bags
- Seat belt harness restraints
- Booties or coat (depending on hot or cold weather)
- Calming aids & toys
- Dog first-aid kit
Oh and don’t forget a few tasty dog treats to help pass the time! We recommend our Chicken Wrapped Sweet Potato Stix and our Real Meat Pork Jerky. Both are made with wholesome ingredients and are about as mess-free as it gets.
Before Heading Out
Now that you know what essentials to bring, let’s talk about preparation. How can you help prepare Fido or Feona for their big adventure? Here’s how:
Take Test Drives
With dogs and humans alike, becoming acclimated to any new environment takes time. Car rides are no different. Start small by taking short drives around the block. Even ask a friend or loved one to drive, while you hold your hound in place. To reward their bravery, consider passing your pup a training treat, like our Cheeze & Sweet Potato Tiny Bites. Before you know it, car rides will probably be their favorite activity!
Make Your Dog Their Own Space
When taking a road trip with your dog, be sure to bring their favorite blanket, toy, or bedding along for the ride. This will not only reduce anxiety, but can help them realize that they have a designated space in your car. For example, make your rear right seat a cozy environment for your pup to sit, lay, or gaze out the window!
Speaking of anxiety, taking long car rides with dogs can induce stress. If your dog appears anxious during short car rides, consult with your vet. They may prescribe your dog nausea supplements. Before taking a long car ride with your dog, there are many ways to desensitize them. As long as you’re not the one at the wheel, use toys to play with your pup, or pass them a scrumptious dog treat.
Map Out Rest Stops
You’ve heard the saying “Life is a marathon, not a sprint,” right? That’s exactly how you should treat long car rides with your dog! Puppies should use the bathroom at least once an hour while older dogs are able to go a few hours without stopping.
Nobody knows your dog better than their own paw-rents. That said, taking a road trip with your dog involves many unknown environments. This can cause interference in your dog’s normal routines. Be sure to keep a close eye on signs of panting, pacing, or attempting to break free from their restraints.
While On The Road
It’s finally time for your big road trip with your dog. Woo hoo! Here are a few tips that may be helpful for the getaway:
Keep Your Dog Crated Or Restrained
There are many ways to practice safety when taking long car rides with dogs. You may want to consider travel restraints or spacious crates that attach to the vehicle floor or seat. And always keep a leash handy before your pup exits the car. For safety reasons, be sure to remove their leash once they’re settled in the car and you’re ready to hit the road. This will help your pup avoid getting tangled around their leash.
Whether you’re visiting an area containing wildlife or you make a quick stop for gas, it’s vital to understand safety hazards that could affect your dog. Always be aware of your surroundings and maintain a safe distance from animals and/or humans. Don’t forget to keep your dog leashed when outdoors.
Spilled gasoline, oil, or antifreeze can also cause tremendous damage to your dog’s paws. Steer clear of puddles or wait until you’ve filled up to transport your dog to a safe greenspot during your stop.
Most Importantly..Have Fun!
Sights and smells and sounds, oh my! There is so much quality time to be had when taking a road trip with your dog. Whether you’re visiting loved ones or gearing up for a solo expedition with your slobbery sidekick, you’re bound to build endless memories together. It’s important to keep in mind safety precautions but don’t forget to relax, have fun, and enjoy the ride. And don’t forget to stock up on dog treats before you leave!