Travel / Transportation

Preparing for a Road Trip with Your Dog

Written by Katherine White

Traveling long distances with a dog is more than just putting them in the backseat of your with food and water. Many dogs are afraid of cars and some owners are unsure of how to handle it. However, you can have a successful road trip with your fur baby! All you need is to prepare, prepare, prepare. Here are some tips for preparing for a road trip with your best friend:

Road Trip with Your Dog

Spacious Crate or Carrier

Yes, your dog should be inside a crate or carrier! Dogs roaming around the vehicle can be dangerous and it’s for your safety as well as your dogs. Seatbelts and airbags are designed to protect humans, not your fur babies!  It’s important that they have enough space to move around, stand-up and lay comfortably.

Get them Comfortable

If your dog has never traveled in a car or hasn’t been in one in a while, a road trip might shock him. Try taking your dogs on several drives to prepare him for the long drive. This is also great for you to get insight into how your dog will react while being in the car. Some might experience motion sickness more than others, so this will give you a good idea on what to expect. Just in case, you should talk with your vet about over the counter medications to prevent nausea.

Visit The Vet

Before taking off you should make sure that your dog is good to go. Schedule an appointment with a vet to ensure that he’s healthy before taking off. It’s also a good idea to talk with your vet about motion sickness and if your dog gets anxious being away from home. They might be able to prescribe you something to help. If you haven’t already, this would be a good opportunity to get your dog micro-chipped. In the situation that your dog goes missing, you have a better chance of finding him.

Pack Accordingly

Bring food and toys that are familiar to your dog. This will give them comfort being away from home. Try to bring toys that will last for the duration of the trip and enough food and water. To also help some of their anxiety, you can even pack their favorite blanket and favorite treats. You should also bring bottled water for your dog to drink out of, they can easily get sick drinking from different tap water.

Here is a packing checklist to help you out:

    • Familiar Food

    • Bottled Water

    • Bowls

    • Familiar Toys

    • Poop bags

    • Comb

    • Protective clothing

    • Shampoo

  • Updated Pet ID Tag

Stop Frequently

Every few hours you should stop to let your dog go to the bathroom, stretch out and get some fresh air. If you want to be extra prepared, plan ahead of time and find dog parks for him to run around. Make sure you’re stopping in a safe area and not on the side of the road.

Do NOT leave your animal alone

Vehicles are extremely airtight and leaving your dog alone in a car is putting them at risk of not getting enough air and heat exposure. To put it into perspective, 72 degrees Fahrenheit outside can get up to 116 Fahrenheit inside of a car within an hour. Regardless of the weather, it’s better to just stay safe and avoid leaving your dog in the car at all cost.

Katherine White writes articles for businesses that want to explore different marketing strategies. Currently, she is a contributor for 365 Business Tips and a digital marketing expert for local brands such as AutoNation Volkswagen Spokane. Her educational background in Public Relations helps her tackle topics regarding strategy, branding and messaging.