7 Tips For Road Tripping With Your Dog That Will Keep Both Your Pup And You Happy
If you're yearning to hit the road for an end-of-summer vacay, but the thought of leaving Fido is just too much to bear, you can totally take your dog with you. Arming yourself with tips for road tripping with your dog will help you get the relaxation you need without worrying about what's going on at home. A survey from Rover noted that almost 40 percent of pet parents forgo travel because they don't want to leave Fido behind. However, there are plenty of dog-friendly destinations that will allow both you and your pup to get away together.
What's more, a little preparation up front can help make road trips stress free for you and your dog, and help ensure that your relaxing road trip doesn't turn into a nightmare. While you might think of your dog as your child, dogs need different things than kids. You can't hand Fido the iPad when he starts to get cranky in the car. That being said, dogs can get carsick just like humans, and car full of Fido puke can certainly put a damper on vacation fun. When road tripping with a dog, #TheMoreYouKnow, the more fun you and your four-legged bestie will have on your big adventure.
1. Know How Your Dog Behaves In The Car
Most dogs love to go for a ride. However, if you've only taken your pup for short jaunts around town, you might not be prepared for how your dog might react to spending hours riding in the car. For example, a lot of dogs get carsick on long trips. And, if you're not prepared, it could get pretty gross. Just like people, a motion-sensitive dog should ride facing forward, in the front seat if possible, WebMD noted. You can even get Fido a doggy seatbelt to strap him in for the ride.
2. Pack Everything Your Dog Needs
While you're packing your bag in preparation for the big trip, don't forget to get Fido's stuff in order too. A lot of pet parents accidentally hit the road without a leash or food (I've totally done this). Luckily, you can buy these items once you reach your destination, but it's a whole lot easier if you get everything ready before you leave. Bring Fido's favorite toys, food, treats, leash, any medications, and bed to ensure your dog is healthy and happy wherever your travels take you.
3. Research Fido Friendly Locales Ahead of Time
There's nothing worse than a long day on the road than pulling up to a hotel and learning they either don't take dogs, or they want to charge you a huge fee to bring Fido. Make sure you suss out dog friendly hotels or campsites before you leave to reduce stress and hidden costs while on the road.
4. Take Regular Potty Breaks
Every time you pull over to hit the restroom, make sure you take Fido out to stretch his legs and go to the bathroom too. Sometimes, long car rides can give your pup an upset stomach, so don't be surprised if Fido has to go to the bathroom more than normal while on the road. Also, it goes without saying, never ever leave your dog in the car alone.
5. Make Sure Fido Has A Name Tag And Microchip
Dogs get lost or run away. It can happen to even the most vigilant pet parent. This is why it's important that your pup is always wearing a collar or harness with a name tag that clearly displays your current cellphone number. It's also a good idea to get your dog microchipped so if they do wander off, and someone else finds them, any shelter or vet can scan the chip and contact you to reunite you and Fido ASAP.
6. Download A White Noise App
Your dog is familiar with the noises at home, but on the road it's a different story. Even if your dog doesn't bark at home, strange sounds in hotel rooms could make Fido more vigilant than normal. BarkPost recommended being prepared ahead of time by downloading a white noise app to play at night to mask external noise and ensure you all get a good night's sleep. There are tons of free white-noise apps to choose from, and you can even listen to white noise designed just for dogs on Spotify.
7. Bring A Fido First-Aid Kit
Hopefully you won't have any medical emergencies while on the road, but if Fido gets stung by a bee or cuts his foot on a rock, you're going to want to be prepared. BarkPost has a dog first-aid kit checklist that outlines everything you need in case of an emergency. It's also a good idea to Yelp the closest emergency veterinarian wherever your travels take you to reduce stress and anxiety of trying to find one during an emergency. With a little work up front, a road trip with your dog can be a powerful bonding experience that you both enjoy.