Whether you’re taking a road trip for pleasure or out of necessity, if you own a dog you might often find they’ll be coming along for the drive.
Dogs can be a welcome addition to a long drive, but they can also present factors that aren’t around when only humans are in the car.
If you are planning to travel with your dog, take the following into consideration to make the trip as seamless as possible.
Factor them in from the beginning
When the seed of a road trip idea pops into your head and you know you’re bringing along your dog, treat them as another person in the equation and plan with them in mind.
Your accommodations – be it a hotel, campsite, or Airbnb – should be pet friendly. They may even have perks that come along with bringing a pet, so be sure to inquire ahead of time.
Seek out pet-friendly restaurants, dog parks, and rest areas to ensure your pup can be part of the action.
You might even consider making your destination a pet-friendly locale, like national parks. If your destination is not pet friendly – perhaps a wedding or other event – be sure to arrange care for your pup during that time frame so they aren’t left alone.
Pack the necessities
You put quite a bit of thought into what to pack for yourself – so why not do the same for your dog? It may seem obvious to bring the essentials, but items can get overlooked without proper preparation.
Think about your pup’s day-to-day routines and what’s required of them. From the dog harness they’re strapped into for a morning walk to the special treat they get every night before bed, make a list of what they need and expect from a daily routine.
This could include medication, favorite toys, food and water bowls, and mentally stimulating activities to keep them busy. You may also want to pack vaccination records, ID for the dog, or weather-specific items like raincoats or warm winter sweaters.
Also make sure you have easy access to these things as you are driving in your car. A need may arise for your pup that has to be taken care of in the moment, so being able to grab a bag with ease is paramount.
We aim for comfort, ease, and happiness when we go on a road trip. Give the same to your furry friend.
Like humans, animals need a safe way to be transported over the miles. Invest in car-friendly ways to keep your pup in one spot like crates, seatbelt or car harnesses, or gates.
The area where your dog will be laying down should be one that’s comfortable to lay on for an extended period of time. Bring along their dog bed, a cushion, or blankets they can snuggle into.
To avoid a bored pup who is more likely to move around in the car and cause disruptions, make frequent stops.
Not only is this good for bathroom breaks, but for things like getting in a quick game of fetch or walking time to tire them out so travel will be smoother.