Your dog is your family member, so time away from home isn’t the same without them. But, how do you make your next excursion a pleasant and stress-free experience for both you and your canine? Here are a few helpful tips for taking car trip with your dog.
Before you leave, there are a few things you can do to make your trip easier. For example, create a plan of how you would handle an emergency situation.
Make sure your dog is tolerant of rides in the car. Take them regularly on short trips to acclimate them.
Then, as you map your route, be sure to do a search for pet-friendly accommodations and veterinary clinics, at every stop. Look for rest stops that will allow you to give your dog a bathroom break every three to five hours. Keep this information handy.
Your trip will go smoother if your dog has their own luggage. That way, you can pack all their gear in one specific carry-on. Travel is less chaotic when food dishes, snacks, and toys are all in one easy-to-access bag or tote.
Pack for Possibilities
Here’s a list of items that may come in handy on your route.
- A rubber glove or squeegee, to lift hair out of carpet or hotel furniture
- Your dog’s Thundershirt, if they use one, in case of storms
- Pet-friendly air freshener
- Bags for waste
- Paper towels or pet-friendly wipes
- Plastic, resealable bags
- A mix of fresh, unused toys, to rotate and keep your dog occupied
- A sealed bag with your dog’s name, identification, and emergency contact information
- Chicken broth or a can of pumpkin, just in case of an upset tummy
- A large jug of your own water from home because a change of water will often cause gastrointestinal issues
Take a Car Seat
As much as your dog might enjoy riding down the road with their head out the window, slobbering wet strings all over the side of your car, the safest place for them is in a crate. This gives them their own “home away from home.” It can hold a blanket, toys, and water dish. Your dog will have room to stand up and stretch if needed, or they can doze off like any passenger with a designated driver. It also ensures that the dog hair will be contained in one place!
There are plenty of car-friendly carriers available, which can collapse into a lightweight carry-on when not in use.
As an alternative, you can strap your pup in with a specially made seatbelt, but be aware that it will restrict their movement.
Just when you think you have it all planned out, you might want to take a short test run. Perhaps most important of all is to make sure that your dog has a microchip and/or ID tags on them at all times. When you have everything covered ahead of schedule, you can concentrate on having a fun trip and quality time with your dog.
Of course, should you have any questions or concerns about taking your pup on a long car ride, visit your local veterinarian.
Have you taken your dog on a trip? What are your recommendations?