Who doesn’t love a good road trip? Great tunes, yummy snack, awesome photo opps and most importantly great company… including your dog! Road trips can be just as fun for your pooch as they are for you if you are well prepared! We have compiled some tips and tricks for road tripping with your dog!
Plan your route. It is important to plan around your dog so you know when and where you will be stopping for food, pee breaks and overnight stops. You don;t want to get stuck somewhere that isn’t ideal for your for even worse not dog friendly. Perhaps planning a stop for a swim along the way if your dog is a water dog and you’ve packed the right necessities (towel etc)
Check the weather and plan accordingly – Be ready for the weather as it may impact where you stop, where you stay and how long it will take you to get there. It is also important to make sure you pack the right necessities for the climate you are travelling in (blankets, towels, sunscreen, poncho etc)
Connect with your Vet before you leave- ensure all your shots are up to date, talk to the vet about potential risks for the trip and the area you are headed (ticks, hot spots, climate change impact) If your dog has anxiety in the car you can chat with your vet about some remedies for this.
Take breaks along the way- your dog will want to get out and sniff and do their business every few hours. Plan to stop for 15-20 minutes every few hours. This is a chance for your dog to stretch and also have a snack and some water. This is also a brat chance to snap a few photos for your road trip album.
Be aware of vets in the area you are going to be visiting just in case of emergency.
Plan for care if you are going to a non dog friendly event. If you are heading to a wedding or major event plan care for your dog either a pet sitter or daycare, boarding etc. Do not leave your dog alone in an unfamiliar environment such as a hotel.
Ensure your accommodations are dog friendly and read their policies.
Bring a recent picture of your pet (pretty sure you have like 1000 on your phone) just in case your pet goes missing
Keep to your daily routine as much as possible- feeding times, pee breaks, games you play with your dog, bedtime routines. This will help relieve any extra anxiety your dog may have.
Make a Pet First Aid kit- keep bandages, antiseptics, tweezers, tick keys etc and keep it on hand. Its a good idea to have a pre wrapped treat in there in case.
Take your dog on a walk before you get in the car and get them a little bit tired so they may be able to sleep for a bit in the car.
Bring something for your dog to do in the car- a favourite toy, puzzle or even a Kong with peanut butter (if thats their thing) to keep your dog amused.
Have your dogs paperwork and records with you. This is important for some hotels, daycares and border crossing.
Take a test trip with your dog first- try a few short drives and see how your dog responds to being in the car, this will also help get your pooch used to travelling in the car as well.
Don’t feed your dog right before they get in the car- this can case car sickness, it is better to feed them a few hours before leaving.
Pack your crate and make sure your dog is secure in the vehicle so they do not jump around and distract you, this is also safer in the event of an accident.
White Noise at night- This can help distract your dog from all the new noises going on around them it may also keep your dogs barking down to a dull roar.
Back a bag or suitcase for your dog- Just like you, your dog will need their essentials:
Sunscreen & Bug Spray
Flea and Tick Meds
Plan fun events for your dog too! Look into local dog parks, beaches or events you can take your dog too! Remember this is their trip too!
Take lots of pictures! You will want to capture these special memories of you and your four legged friend!