How to Prepare Your Dog for a Long Road Trip
by Sarah Jones
You get to go on a trip! What’s even better, is that your furry friend gets to come along. If your dog has never been in a vehicle, this could be a traumatic experience. Even if they have, spending hours in a car can take its toll. There are a few things you can do in preparation for your trip that will make it go smoother and keep both two-legged and four-legged travelers happy.
Take Small Trips First
One of the best things you can do is to take your dog on some smaller trips first. This could be driving around for 15 minutes, or a weekend getaway somewhere closer. Take a trip to a dog park so your pet can get somewhat acclimated to the vehicle. This also helps because they then associate the car ride with something fun. Some dogs do get car sick. If your pet has never been in a car, this is a good time to see if they get carsick. Your vet can recommend some things to help remedy this if they do.
Crate or Not to Crate
When traveling, decide if your pet will ride in a crate or not. This may be safer for some dogs who are restless and may want to jump around the car. Think safety first, for both you and your pet. There are dog beds that have an opening for the seatbelt to wind through for smaller dogs. Don’t plan on leaving your dog in the car alone or its crate. Decide which would be best for your dog and drive careful. Also, extreme temperatures can quickly make a dog sick or uncomfortable even if left for only a few minutes.
For a longer trip, your dog will need its own things. Food, water, water bowls, dog-poop bags, collar and leash, proof of rabies vaccinations, toys and a bed are some of the main things your dog will need while away from home. Chew toys are an excellent travel idea. They can keep your pet happy and occupied to pass some long hours in the car. They can also bring a sense of comfort both in the vehicle and at your destination.
Stick to the Schedule
It is important to stick to your pet’s feeding schedule. Major changes can cause a dog not to eat to eat too fast. This can cause upset stomachs, vomiting, and discomfort both dog and owner. If your pet normally eats at 7 am, then you should plan to feed it each morning at the same time while on your trip. Keep some bottled water available and a water dish while you travel to keep your pet hydrated.
Plan Plan Plan
Planning ahead can save you a lot of trouble. There are many pet-friendly areas as well as hotels that you can use along the way if need be. Just know that whenever your pet leaves the vehicle, it will have to be on a leash. This is the law in most states, and it will also keep them from running off and keep them safe. You can even plan how many hours you will drive each
day or where exactly you will stop along the route. Dogs need restroom breaks just as often as people sometimes do, so it is an excellent idea to have your trip itinerary planned.
Books to Help You
Traveling with your dog doesn’t have to be stressful, it can be fun and exciting! Exploring new areas can be fun for your pet, especially if they are happy and comfortable. There are many books and eBooks available to help you with traveling with a pet. Try reading “Traveling with Your Pet:The AAA Petbook.
This is available on Amazon. This book provides updates on places to stay across Canada and the United States that are pet-friendly. These include hotels, parks, attractions, and restaurants so your dog can accompany you. This can be an important read to help plan out your trip and take your dog some exciting and new places that they can accompany you to or in. The book has over 15,000 pet-friendly suggestions to choose from for one amazing trip.
*This post was contributed by Sarah Jones
Sarah enjoys learning and writing about pets. Being a pet lover herself, she started Crazy Pet Guy in the hopes of reaching people who want to learn more about owning and taking care of their own pets.