Long trips on the road with your dog can be unforgettable.
However, that means it can also be an unforgettable nightmare. Dogs aren’t really designed to ride in cars, so we have to work around them.
But it’s totally doable!
Being prepared for long road trips and learning how to travel with a dog is essential for a smooth ride.
Check out these 9 tips for traveling with your dog!
1. Make Sure Your Dog Is Conditioned to Car Rides
Most dogs love going on adventures with their owners, even if it’s just to the store and back.
However, be conscious of new experiences and how scary they can be for animals. Some dogs get super nervous their first few times in a car and others get sick. Finally, you have some dogs who get overly excited and can’t seem to calm down.
In any case, it’s usually just a matter of getting them used to the car. The more trial runs you take before your road trip, the more smoothly your dog will handle it.
Learning how to travel with a dog is a lot of trial and error.
2. Make Sure You Bring Food and Water/Dishes
One thing many dog owners forget about when taking their pal on a road trip is food and water dishes. It’s easy to remember the food, but hard to remember the dishes for some reason.
Consider collapsible dishes and portable pet water bottles. Collapsible water dishes fold down nice for easy storage and are made for travel. Pet water bottles come with a lid that also serves as a trough for your dog to lap up water out of.
3. How to Travel with a Dog Safely
Many people underestimate how distracting their dog is going to be in the car. Although, 33% of drivers admit to being sidetracked by their pets while driving. An unrestrained dog is vulnerable to being ejected out of a car during accidents, which will likely be fatal.
Keeping your dog crated is one way to restrain them. However, some dog owners don’t like keeping their dog crated during road trips.
For them, learning how to travel with a dog safely usually involves dog car seats or dog seat belts. They work to keep their dog restrained and safe in the case of an accident as well as keeping you undistracted while driving.
4. Be Prepared to Clean Up Accidents
Whether it’s a potty accident or a symptom of carsickness. be prepared to clean up messes.
If your dog is well potty trained and a veteran at riding in cars, you will probably be pretty safe. However, you need to be prepared for the “what ifs”.
Imagine your dog having an accident and needing to wait an hour until you hit the next town to do anything about it. That would make for a pretty unpleasant 60 minutes.
5. Get a Car Seat Cover
One of the first things people learn about how to travel with a dog is that a seat cover is a necessity.
We all love our dogs more than words can say. However, our car seats don’t feel the same way.
Between hair, claws, drooling, and accidents, dogs are pretty rough on car seats. Buying a car seat cover for the back seat is a great way to protect your car and give your dog a free roam to lay down, sit, or stand.
Just remember that safety is essential.
6. Prepare for Accidental Separation
No matter how well you prepare for a trip, the worst can always happen.
The worst thing you could experience as a dog owner is losing your pet in an unfamiliar environment. They won’t know where they are nor how to come back to you.
For this reason, many dog owners who take their companions on the road invest in GPS devices that attach to their dog’s collar.
Additionally, you’ll want to make sure your dog has all of your information on his collar. This includes your name, address, and phone number.
It’s also handy for the owner to have their dog’s medical documents and vaccination records as well in case of an emergency medical situation.
7. Get a Travel Crate
Although we discussed other options, one of the safest ways to travel with your pet is with a travel crate. While restraining, your pet may find it relaxing and comforting to be kenneled on the road.
For you, it means no distractions and peace of mind knowing your dog will be as safe as possible in the event of an accident.
Pet Crates Direct have dog crates of all sizes and designs. They also have the dog car seats we discussed earlier. They are kind of a one-stop shop for all pet owners learning how to travel with a dog.
8. Make Frequent Stops
Learning how to travel with a dog means accepting that you’ll be making frequent stops.
They need to be let out of the car about every two hours to stretch their legs, walk around a bit, and go to the bathroom. This is especially true for dogs traveling in a crate.
While we all talk about how irritating it is to travel with someone who has to stop and use the bathroom frequently, it’s a small price to pay for being able to travel with man’s best friend.
Use your stops to show them some affection, give them some water, and maybe a treat or two!
9. Make Sure They’re Comfortable
We have all been on long plane, bus, or car rides where we’ve been unable to get comfortable. It’s unenjoyable, to say the least.
Don’t do that to your dog.
Going on a long road trip with you can be a fantastic experience for your dog or a horrible one.
Avoid making it a horrible one for them by taking extra steps to make sure they’re comfortable such as extra padding in their crate or seat, keeping the temperature cool, and taking the appropriate measures to keep them hydrated.
If you are staying in a hotel, make sure to find dog friendly hotels so your travel buddy can have the best experience!
Additionally, if you’re hungry, they probably are too. But be careful not to feed them too much at a time or it may make them carsick.
Enjoy the Ride While It Lasts
As humans with lifespans that last up to 100 years or more, we often forget that we have limited time with our pets.
Enjoy every second you get with your dog because when they’re gone, you’ll never feel like you had enough time with them.
Now that you know how to travel with a dog, take your companion on a road trip today, even if it’s just down to the park for some fun! Don’t forget to bookmark our site and keep checking back for the latest posts!