Are you planning to go on a trip with your furry friend? Road trips are a lot of fun and one of the best ways to visit off-beat places or even regular ones at your leisure. Taking your dog along with you on the trip can double the fun. It also means that you won’t have to leave your best friend at a kennel when both of you will miss each other. Most dogs love to travel in a car. Everyone knows their love for sticking their head out of their window with their tongue rolling out.
Here are a few tips to ensure that you are fully prepared to face any challenges on the trip.
First things first, the most important thing for any pet parent would be to ensure the safety of their pet while on the trip. You should take a ventilated carrier along with you in case you need it. While riding in the car, use a travel harness or a pet safety belt to keep them safe and secure during the ride. Seat belts or harnesses allow them to lay down on the seat while keeping them safe in case of an accident. In case your dog is not used to traveling a lot in the car, it would be a good idea to start with small trips first and slowly build on their comfort levels. Make sure the seat belts are of a reputable company and tested for accidents. It would be a good idea to familiarize your dog with the seat belts before the trip so that they get used to the feeling of being held up in one place.
Prepare for Motion Sickness
Before you start on your road trip it would be a good idea to prepare your dog. Make a few small trips first to check if your dog is inclined to motion sickness. In case you find out that your dog isn’t very comfortable with long drives, you must speak to a vet before starting on the trip. They might prescribe some medicines or suggest an alternative feeding routine or certain foods like Ark Naturals Happy Traveler Chews reduce pet anxiety and motion sickness.
Carry All Essentials
You must make a list of all essentials and carry them on the trip. Here’s a list of things you might need:
Portable water and food bowls
Pet first aid kit
Proof of vaccinations
Health certificate from a vet
Collar or harness
It is also suggested that you bring something your dog is familiar with on the trip to add to their comfort. A blanket or your dog’s bed can help them stay comfortably in the hotel room. You can also bring along their favorite chew toy to help them to settle down in places they are not familiar with.
Stop Regularly to Let Your Dog Stretch
Make sure you make a stop for 10 to 15 minutes every 3-4 hours. Your frequency to stop might vary depending on your dog’s age. Old dogs or puppies might need more frequent bathroom breaks. The best places for your dog’s bathroom breaks are the state-run rest stops that have an assigned pet area. Make sure you carry enough potty bags on the trip, even though you might find them at some of the designed pet areas. Certain rest stops might also have a small fenced area for dogs to run around. But it is best to keep your dog leashed in these areas too, as they can get startled by large trucks or wildlife.
When traveling with your dog, it is advisable not to have too many long days of driving in the car. Instead, break your trip into shorter drives with stops at pet-friendly hotels or motels. Try and limit your daily driving to a total of 6-7 hours max. Make sure the hotels that you choose to stay are safe for your dog. Many hotels have restrictions related to the breed or size of dogs, so it is best to call up ahead and check with them.
In case you have a dog breed that is usually victimized or not accepted readily, make sure you read up a bit about state and local laws about dog breeds. You should ensure that you are not going into an area that has laws to forbid or restrict certain breeds, and your dog is one of them.
It might not be possible to maintain the exact routine that you follow at home, but try to maintain it as much as possible. It can be helpful to take your dog on a long walk or some playtime to help with the anxiety of the trip. And make sure that you both enjoy your time together. Have fun!