Road trips mean you will be spending plenty of time on the road which is why it’s important to make sure the trip is fun for everyone, including your canine buddy. Knowing what to do when it comes to taking a road trip with a dog can help keep your sanity and keep your pet safe during the long hours of driving. Here are some tips for taking a road trip with your dogs.
Speak with your vet about your plans
If you’re really concerned about the wellbeing of your pet during the road trip, it’s a good idea to take him for the last check-up, especially if it’s been a while since you visited the vet. Make sure your canine’s vaccinations are up-to-date and ask for any additional ones to protect your dog on the road trip since dogs may encounter new threats like Lyme disease.
In addition, don’t forget to ask for his vaccination records as you will need them should your pet gets sick during the trip. You can even keep a copy on your phone if you don’t want a copy in your glove box.
Make sure your dog is ready for the experience
Not everybody is excited about travelling as some people dread the experience for several reasons. Likewise, it can be costly to assume that your dog is enthusiastic about the road trip like yourself which is why you should try some shorter trips to see his reaction. A short trip of 10-15 minutes can help reveal if your dog is happy to travel or he gets anxious or motion sickness. If you think your dog is not ready, consider solutions like getting medications for motion sickness, playing calming music or using rescue remedy.
Pack for your dog
It’s also a great idea to pack separately for your pet so you can access them easily when you need to. Here’s a packing list you should find helpful:
- Copy of vaccination records
- Pet prescriptions
- First aid kit
- Collar and leash
- ID and registration tags
- Seat covers and blankets
- Portable food and water bowls
- Doggy waste bags
- Treats and toys
- Soft Crate
Know the regulations in your destination
Make sure you have a clear idea of the regulations in your destination, so you don’t show up only to find out that your dog isn’t allowed. There are a few places where dogs are not allowed (e.g. national parks) while most campgrounds have a strict rule that pets must be kept on short leashes. If you’re looking to keep things simple, you probably want to download a few apps so you can have all the information you need at your fingertips. Dog Park Finder Plus and BringFido are examples of how apps can help you plan for your road trip.
Take frequent breaks
Don’t assume your pup will be fine throughout the road trip just because you’re fine with it. Dogs need breaks so they can go to the bathroom, stretch their legs and play. Playing fetch with your pet can help him run a lot in a short time and burn some energy, a strategy that can make him behave well during the trip. Stopping every 2-3 hours while on the road to engage your dog and give him some attention can go a long way to help.