Hitting the road with your canine for a road trip, a lifestyle, or something else, should be safe and enjoyable for both of you. This is especially true if it’s his first road trip, creating a great experience for Fido will make the next ones always delightful for everyone.
Before Your Trip
Visit your vet. Fido might need new vaccinations depending on how long you’ll be away and where you’ll be going. Different regions carry the risk of different diseases, pests, and outbreaks. Take this time to ask your vet for tips about taking your pooch on a road trip.
Training and acclimating. Training Fido to behave while inside the car, and to do his business when we make stops is a lifesaver. Going for increasingly long rides, from a few minutes to a few hours, can help any dog who isn’t accustomed to long trips, get acclimated. And by saying, “go piddle” every time he piddles can help him associate the command with the action, so he goes when we ask him to, even if he didn’t know he needed to go
Plan that route. Stopovers are a must, especially if the drive is going to be a long one. Our pups need to relieve themselves, walk around for a bit, and stretch every three to four hours. Plus, we should take a break to stand up and walk around, too. Between 15 and 30 minutes per stopover is recommended. For those road warriors with a hard deadline and ambitious goals to get somewhere in the shortest amount of time possible should either skip bringing Fido, or budget their time to include Fido’s well-being. Whenever possible, find places that are dog-friendly, such as parks or even hiking trails.
Choose the right food and snacks. Road trips are all about the food. Many people love to snack on their favorite junk foods and pack trail mix to minimize fast food stops. While too much of a deviation from their everyday diet can lead to digestive discomfort, a road trip should be a fun and tasty for our canine companions. Check out EcoEats. This delicious and affordable dehydrated dog food blend is packed with all the essential nutrients your pup needs to thrive. Plus, it’s lightweight, veterinarian-formulated, and wallet-friendly. Also, Try EcoEats. Low-calorie, all-natural dog treats that are perfect for training, rewards, and road trip deliciousness.
Get weather info. We can find out what the weather will be like while on the road using a variety of apps and websites. Many websites and apps will even allow us to stay up to date with current weather conditions and live camera feeds. In Colorado, for example, the COTrip website offers road conditions, speeds, travel times, and statewide as well as route-specific alerts.
Find dog-friendly accommodations. Be sure the hotel or campsite where we’ll be staying allows pets. In most places, it’s against the law to leave pets in cars, no matter how brief or what the temperature is like. So, leaving Fido in the car while we get some rest in a room where dogs are forbidden is not an option. Call ahead of time to get a clear sense of policies and whether there are any additional fees.
Pack all of Fido’s essentials. The list might include food, water, treats, bowls, meds (if any), leash, updated identification tags, vet/medical records, favorite blanket and toys, crate (if needed), poop bags and scraper, warm clothing (if needed), shampoo and brush, flea comb and tick remover, first-aid kit, and a recent picture just in case he decides to embark on his own adventure we need to track him down.
Feed Fido at least two hours before the trip. This is a big one. There’s nothing more deflating than embarking on a new adventure only to stop 30 minutes later for a pee break. If there’s time, we can take our canine companion on a long walk right before the trip, just to help eliminate some of the excess energy.
Dog-Friendly Places. More than just where we’ll be taking pee breaks and sleeping, everyone needs a little fun along the way. For many, that can mean pulling over the take pictures of the world’s biggest ball of twine in Kansas. For others, it might be a UFO attraction in Roswell, NM. Since we’re traveling with our canine companions, we may as well make sure we know all the best restaurants and pet-friendly attractions on our route.
Adventures are better together. As long as we take our pup into account along the entire route, everyone will have a great time bonding and creating memories. Happy and safe travels!
- “Pet-Friendly Road Trip Planner,” Go Pet Friendly
- “15 Essential Road Trip Tips That Will Give Your Dog The Adventure Of A Lifetime,” Bark Post
- “The Best Dog-Friendly Road Trips in the U.S.,” Good Housekeeping