Dec 04 , 2019
Are you planning to embark on a road trip with your dog? Here are our best tips on how to make it happen smoothly.
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General Road Safety
We'd be remiss if we neglected to mention the standard safety 101's of taking a road trip, with or without a furry companion or two. A roadside emergency kit is an absolute must! It should have things like Fix A Flat, road flares, jumper cables, a flashlight, safety vest, and collapsible safety cones. Don't forget to bring a basic first aid kit, snacks, and an atlas or map. And the most important thing of all...
You never know when you'll get in a sticky situation, so always bring extra water for people and dogs. It's best to use a non-spill water bowl so your pup can have water available any time he or she needs a drink. Sometimes at rest stops they are too excited to drink enough water, so it's important for them to always have it available.
Do A Trial Trip
Is your dog an old pro at road trips, brand new to travel, or somewhere in between? Does your pup take to the road like he's been doing it all his life, or does he struggle with anxiety or motion sickness? It's best to know these things ahead of time. So, if you've never taken your pup on a long car ride before, take a test run! Find something within an hour of your house that you've never seen before. You can take a short trip, do something fun with your pup, and then head home to the comfort of your home. This will hopefully give your pup a great first experience out, and he'll be excited when it's time for the next trip.
When leaving home with your pup, it's good to bring a few essentials, such as:
Collar and ID tags
Enough food for the trip
Blanket or seat cover to cover and protect your vehicle
Proof of vaccinations, especially rabies!
These items are must-haves that will make your trip go much more smoothly!
It's best to plan your route ahead of time, checking out potential stopping spots and emergency vet clinics along the way. If you'll be traveling for multiple days, make sure you've checked ahead of time for pet-friendly accommodations. Some helpful apps and websites are BringFido, VetFinder, Dog Park Finder, Go Pet Friendly, and more.
There are many ways to restrain your pup while driving, and most of them are safer than letting your dog ride loose in the vehicle. Some of these are a crate, a harness with a seatbelt, a restraint strap with a zip line, and a lookout or booster seat. The best one for you will depend on several factors, like the size of your dog, how many you have, and your space inside the vehicle. Make sure you keep your windows rolled up to prevent any unwanted exits. We do not recommend letting your dog ride in an open truck bed!
It's best to take breaks frequently to let your pup stretch his legs. And it's good for you, too! Some dogs will need more frequent or longer breaks than others, but we think it's best to stop for 15 minutes every two hours. Make sure you don't leave your pup in the car alone for too long and keep a very close eye on the temperature of the vehicle.
Do you have any road trip tips not covered here? Let us know!