How to Road Trip with Your Dog

Your dog is the one you consider your best friend, and you want to conquer the world together with them. The problem is that while they may easily handle shorter trips, the longer kind can be quite challenging. Dogs can become restless, after all, which is why you need to cover all the grounds for them. Here are some tips for road tripping with your dog that will ensure you get back safe and sound.

happy dog looking out car window

  1. Get Your Dog Comfortable with Cars

The first thing you’ll have to make sure of is that your dog is comfortable with riding a car. The younger your dog is, the easier it should be for you to make them acclimate to the car. You can take them on short trips, like going 10 minutes around the block – perhaps even holding them in your arms if they are scared. It might take some time for them to get used to it, particularly if it’s an old dog, but they’ll eventually get around it.

  1. Find a Pet-Friendly Route

When you are road tripping with your dog, you may expect to go through several potty and exercise breaks. You won’t be able to keep your doggy inside the car for too long. This is why you need to make sure your chosen route has a lot of places where you can pull over so that your dog can go potty or stretch its legs a bit. Major rest stops often have pet areas where they can play or do their business.

  1. Have Food and Water Ready

Whether they are on the road or not, dogs may get stressed when they are hungry. This is why you need to have food and water ready for them. With that in mind, you might want to keep them on the same schedule that you do at home; it makes them have a sense of normalcy on the road. Give them a fresh bowl of water every time you make a stop or if you find a shop that sells them, get spill-proof food and water bowls.

Irish Setter

  1. Bring a Collapsible Crate with You

Crates are very useful when it comes to making your dog feel safe in a foreign environment. Whether you are staying at a hotel or a campsite, a crate will make them feel like they are home, allowing them to sleep comfortably. You may want to practice a bit with the crate at home or do what it takes to make it feel homier. An example can be putting an old sweatshirt that smells like you, along with their favorite toys. If you are camping, simply place the crate underneath the tarp you use to keep you dry.

  1. Ensure They Have a Dog Tag

You never want to think about things going wrong, but it is still a possibility – regardless of how much they love you. Dogs are curious by nature, so if they see something that catches their eye on the way, they might make a jump for it without even thinking. If they do happen to bolt, you need to make sure that they have a dog tag with your contact information. They may have a microchip, but very few look for that – so, it’s better to play safe and add a dog tag in the mix.

  1. Pack a Bag with Essentials

Whenever you are traveling with your dog, there are certain essentials that you may want to take with you. This can include medicine, toys, even equipment to pick up their poop. It’s not nice to leave it around, which is why you need to make sure that you have one way to dispose of things properly. Also, pack anything else that your dog can’t go a day without.

  1. Take Frequent Breaks

As mentioned, you cannot really keep your dog cooped up in the car for too long. It stresses them out too much, regardless of how much they may like going in the car. For this reason, you may want to schedule breaks between 2-3 hours. Make sure that you have some nice pit stop around where you can enjoy the scene while allowing your dog to play.

basset hound

The Bottom Line

Road tripping with your dog can be a very fun experience. You just need to be prepared enough so that they also feel that connection to home. Keep them entertained, take frequent breaks, and also ensure their safety.

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