There are so many things to love about road tripping; The open roads, traveling on your own time, great music and endless snacks(if you’re doing it right.) And there’s only one thing that takes a road trip from amazing to perfect- traveling with your best friend!
Riding across the country with your dog by your side sounds like a great idea- and it IS! But it can also become stressful if you aren’t properly prepared, so here are 20 useful tips for your next doggo-included vacation.
1.Make them comfortable.
Give your doggo their own space in the vehicle. Make sure they have plenty of room to move so that they don’t feel claustrophobic. This will help them feel calm and comfortable and keep their anxiety levels low. Come equipped with plenty of blankets so they can get cozy!
2.Pay attention to their bathroom needs.
If your pup seems like they are being overly talkative, whining or moving around a lot, don’t ignore them. Their bladders are small and need attention just like ours. Stopping to let your doggo use the bathroom on your trip will be far less annoying than stopping to clean up your vehicle. And they will be so grateful to you!
Don’t forget to let your dog sniff around and get some fresh air every time you stop. Being cooped up in the vehicle the entire trip can start to make any doggo go a little stir crazy.
We all know snacks are the best part of road tripping, so why not keep your pup happy and spoiled with their favorite snacks as well! This is also a great way to use positive reinforcement if this is their first road trip.
Just like humans, dogs need to get out stretch their legs on a long road trip too! Think about how often you see them stretching! It’s hard to do when your traveling in the car for long periods of time so try to walk or run some laps together at rest stops.
6.Make sure their tags are updated.
This is super important in the off chance that there any altercation with another dog or human and your doggo or if they happen to get lost.
7.Keep fresh water on hand.
We know your most likely going to be stopping every couple hours on your trip for bathroom breaks, but keep your fur baby as hydrated as possible. Besides the obvious reasons, this will also help them feel less anxious and give them ones less thing to stress about.
8.Keep their vaccination records handy.
Another convenient thing that travelers don’t think about until they need it. Just have them with you in case!
9.Equip your vehicle!
Come prepared with cleaning supplies, a dog hammock for the back seat, toys, blankets, treats, an extra leash, etc. You never know what you might need!
10.Try to keep their anxiety levels low
If this is your pups first road trip, it’s important to pay attention to their anxiety levels. If the car stresses them out too much, a road trip with your fur baby may not be the smartest idea. However, if you’re making a move and don’t have an option, do some research on natural and homeopathic nerve calming aids for pets.
11.Take doggo on a few test drives before the big trip.
Taking your doggo on a few test drives is a great idea if they haven’t been on a long road trip before. This way they can get acquainted with being in the car for long periods of time.
12.Look up pet-friendly hotels ahead of time.
This will just save time and hassle if you know what hotels or hostels take pets before you arrive to your desired destination. A lot of places do…but a lot of places don’t! It’s best to be prepared.
13.Buy them a harness leash if they don’t already have one.
Even the most well-behaved dogs can benefit from a harness leash over a basic collar. If your dog, is used to the collar life, introduce them to a comfortable harness to not only help them feel safer in public and around strangers, but to keep them comfortable on walks in new places.
Make sure that wherever your doggo’s designated area in the vehicle is, it is safe for them. Dog hammocks are a great way to ensure they will stay safe if there is a sudden stop or car crash.
15.Take them to a check-up before your vacation.
Better safe than sorry! Take your pup to a general check-up with their vet before you take off on your trip. This way, you can be sure their records are up to date, they can get any medication they may need and you can be sure they are safe and healthy to travel.