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How to Go on a Road Trip with Dog: 5 Tips for an Enjoyable Trip

If your dog has agreed with an excited “Woof” for an upcoming road trip to explore the green pastures in nature, then you are one lucky pet parent. Away from the hustle and bustle of the city, an adventurous road trip with your dog is a great way to bond and get some much-needed exercise and fresh air. However, before you hop into the car with your furry companion alongside, there are certain things you must prepare for. Unfortunately, more often than not, because of inadequate preparations pet parents are compelled to leave their dog at a pet boarding centre. However, if you don’t have the heart to leave your dog at a pet boarding, we have prepared a checklist for you to refer to.

1. Plan the Destination

Begin with choosing a pet-friendly route. When you plan on a road trip you will have to accommodate the needs of your dog which essentially means planning for adequate pee and poo breaks along the journey. Don’t expect your dog to “hold it in” for extended periods. Check if your route allows you to stop enough times that will allow your dog to stretch their legs, trot along or play and breathe some fresh air before you continue. An important tip is to maintain your speed when you drive as sudden increases in speed may cause motion sickness in your pet. If your trip ranges over a few days, ensure that the Motels you will stop at are pet-friendly.

2. Take Practice Trips

Much as the idea of a spontaneous drive might excite you, as a pet parent, you will have to be more sensitive to the complaints your dog might have. Go on small test drives with your Fido and observe their behaviour. Gradually increase the length of your trips which will help them acclimatise to driving with you. A small dive will help you spot potential problems that might afflict your dog such as car sickness, pee breaks, and whether your dog tends to paw you while you drive. To get them acquainted with the car, you can start with giving them a spot of their own. Introduce this spot by placing their blankie or bed on it. Eventually, this will help your dog settle in one place in the car instead of hopping around.    

3. Pack Your Dog’s Travel Essentials

When you plan the trip, you will have to take special care and make note of your dog’s routine so you don’t forget to pack the essentials your dog may require along the way. An initial checklist can include food along with the treats and water, their special bowl, leash, toys that will last, and most importantly, an updated name tag on the collar. A durable toy that engages your dog mentally is important because it occupies them when you are driving. As some dogs love to be aggressive with their toys, pick something that won’t come apart in the first hour such as a frisbee, or a glow-in-the-dark ball for overnight trips. Additionally, if you plan to stay overnight then it is recommended that you carry your dog’s bed so that they are comfortable. Also carry a foldable crate so they feel safe and get good rest. Make a trip to your vet and get some prescription medicines for nausea to add to the travel kit.     

4. Make Peace with the Mess

Dogs are messy creatures. The sooner you accept that, the better as it will keep you from scolding them for making a mess in your car. They will shed, slobber, and get dirty, but guess what? This means that they are having a blast with you on the trip – which is the entire point of taking that trip. If you are concerned about your car’s seat, then consider investing in seat covers that will protect your seat from scratches. If your doggo tends to roll and cover themselves in mud and poo, then consider carrying a hose to clean your dog at the nearest water hook-up. Carry towels that will quickly dry to clean your dog.     

5. Get Good Exercise

Don’t leave your dog in the car for an extended period as they will be extremely uncomfortable especially on a hot day. If you must leave your dog in the car for a few minutes, crack your windows down and even consider leaving a portable fan inside. Don’t leave them alone for longer than a few minutes. Take them with you for treks and watch them trot alongside happily. Getting good exercise is extremely beneficial for the health of your dog and it will leave them feeling merry and excited instead of dull and tired.

To conclude, taking your dog on a road trip takes lots of patience and if you aren’t prepared for it in the beginning, you can think of signing up your dog at a pet boarding centre. Snouters offers a lovable pet boarding destination for your dog so that they can have an enjoyable vacation while you are away. Our pet boarding hosts are hand-picked to be the most welcoming so your Fido feels right at home.