The Ultimate Guide to Taking a Road Trip With Your Dog

Like you, dogs love road trips and adventures. Road trips offer a great opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors with your family and fur-babies.

However, before you let them hop into your car, here’s the ultimate guide to ensuring your pet stays safe, healthy, and happy when taking a road trip with your dog.

Plan Ahead Your Trip Details

Road Trip With Your Dog

The first and most important step to a smooth and stress-free holiday with your pets is planning your trip. What are the things you should consider?

First, look for a pet-friendly place. If you plan to stay in hotels or Airbnbs, do check with the reception before booking if they allow pets or dogs.

Make Sure Your Dog Is Road-Ready

If it’s your first time for your dog to embark on a trip, try some shorter trips to see if he gets motion sickness or if he gets anxious. Train your dog by taking him on short drives a few times before your road trip.

This way, he will get used to the sensation of being in a car. If your dog has motion sickness, ask your vet for some medications to make his trip more comfortable.

Get Your Documentation Organized

Gather together your dog’s vaccination certificates and medical documents, recent lab work, and rabies vaccination tag as these documents may be required in some parks, hotels, or other recreation places.

Keep Your Dog’s Tag Updated

You want to prepare for the unexpected. Make sure your dog’s tag and microchip are updated so people can help you find your pooch easily if he gets lost. If you haven’t changed your dog’s tag for a long time, now is the time to do so. Make sure your address and phone numbers are updated and clearly printed.

Look Up Animal Hospitals and Vets Along Your Route

When planning for your trip, search for animal hospitals or clinics along your route just in case something goes wrong. This way, you’ll have peace of mind that help is not far behind when you embark on a road trip.

Pack a Road Trip Bag for Your Dog

Make a list of everything you need to care for your pet daily and have them included in your dog travel bag.

Don’t forget to pack several packs of disinfecting wipes, poop bags, chew toys, diapers, a blanket, and pet food.

Rules To Follow During Your Trip

For a safe and fun ride with your dog, check out these rules to follow:

Road Trip With Your Dog

Keep Your Dog Secure With a Seatbelt or Crate

Just like you wouldn’t let your child roam inside the car while it moves, you also want your dog to stay put in the seat. It’s best to use a crate so he can still move somehow and be comfortable. Choose a crate where your pooch can stand up and turn around in.

A regular seatbelt is not suitable for a dog. You want to use a doggy seatbelt or harness. This tool will keep any size dog safely strapped in the backseat. If you have a large dog, consider installing a back-seat barrier. Make sure the barrier is securely attached before hitting the road.

Check To See if It’s Too Warm or Cold

Don’t leave your dog inside a hot car. If you’re stopping by for a bit to buy some supplies, make sure that your AC is turned on. Temperature control is an issue on drives.

Never leave your pet unattended in the car. Temperatures in vehicles can rise almost 20 degrees in the first ten minutes. Check every so often to make sure that there’s plenty of air circulation and that your pooch is feeling comfortable.

Turn the Music Down Low

Remember that dogs are very sensitive to sounds so be mindful when you’re listening to some tracks. It may not be too loud for you but it can be for your pooch. Adjust the fade in your stereo so the sound is in the front speakers.

Make Frequent Potty Stops

Stop every couple of hours (two to three hours) for a potty break. This will keep him comfortable during your trip. It’s also a great time to stretch out, move, and enjoy some fresh air.

Stay In Pet-friendly Hotels Along the Way

Not all hotels accept pets so make sure to do your research. Also, even some pet-friendly hotels may only allow certain breeds or will have a few rules before they allow a furry visitor. Avoid frustration by planning your route and booking hotels ahead of time.

Keep Safe Distance from Wildlife

Road Trip With Your Dog

Maintain a safe distance from other animals when taking your dog on a hike and make sure to keep him on a leash. This will prevent any stressful situations or encounters that can result in attacks and injuries.

Try to Maintain Your Normal Routine

While it’s impossible to stick to your normal routine with your dog when you’re on a road trip, at least you can keep things like his normal feeding time.

Don’t forget to allow your dog to play and rest. Bring his favourite toys and feeding bowl so he will be more comfortable even when he’s in a strange place.

Wrapping Up

As long as you follow this guide, you can keep your dog happy, comfortable, and safe during a road trip. You’re sure to be on an epic adventure that both of you will enjoy.

The Ultimate Guide to Taking a Road Trip With Your Dog 1

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