It’s hard for devoted dog owners to leave their furry friends behind when they’re enjoying a vacation. Sometimes, dog owners do not want to put their dogs through the stress of flying, so a road trip, if possible, is the way to go! Taking your dog with you on your next road trip can be fun and adventurous. With that being said, it is essential that you prepare carefully to keep your dog and everyone else coming along for the ride comfortable. Here are six important steps to take when you’re preparing for a road trip with your dog.
Make a List of Your Dog’s Important Supplies
You don’t want to overlook any essential supplies for keeping your dog satisfied; therefore, preparing a list in advance of the trip is important, as it can be hard to track down supplies when you’re on the road. On the top of your list should be dog food, water, bowls for eating and drinking, and any dog vitamins or medications your dog needs to take.
Discuss Your Trip with Your Vet
Your vet can offer important insights on your dog’s needs and health, which is why it’s important to discuss any upcoming road trip that your dog will be participating in with your vet. Additionally, your vet can make valuable health recommendations to ensure your pet’s health and comfort throughout the trip.
Designate a Seat in Your Vehicle for Your Dog
Before beginning your road trip, one of the most important things you need to do is choose where your pet is going to sit. When choosing a seat, keep the following factors in mind:
- Comfort: You want to keep your dog comfortable during travel. Hopefully, your dog enjoys car rides. If not, you could make your dog’s car seat more comfortable with familiar items like toys and a dog bed.
- Safety: Your dog should be buckled in for the ride. Buckling your dog up with a specially designed dog car safety belt is important for both your dog’s safety and the safety of everyone else on the road. You need to keep your dog in his or her seat to prevent excessive movement that could create a distraction for the driver.
- Convenience: Your dog is going to need to regularly enter and exit your vehicle for bathroom breaks; therefore, it is important to make sure that your dog’s car seat will make it easy for your dog to get in and out at rest stops. To make this even easier for your dog, consider bringing a dog ramp for larger cars or if your dog is older.
Establish a Regular Feeding Schedule
Dogs tend to do best when they’re on a regular feeding schedule. It can be easy to overlook feedings in the excitement of a road trip, but setting a fixed schedule and sticking to it is important for you and your pet. With a regular schedule, you know you won’t accidentally skip feedings while also preventing your dog from misbehaving as a result of hunger during the trip.
Look for Pet-Friendly Places to Stay
It’s especially important to put thought and effort into finding pet-friendly accommodations if you’re taking your dog on a road trip. You should never assume that a hotel or even a campground is going to accept dogs at its facilities. Call ahead and verify a location’s pet-friendly status before bringing your dog along.
Don’t Keep Your Pet Waiting in a Vehicle
You should never leave your dog waiting in your vehicle for any significant amount of time—especially when the weather is hot. Even if the weather is cool, it’s still not a good idea to leave a dog alone in your vehicle.
By planning your trip in advance with your dogs comfort and needs in mind, a road trip with your dog can turn out to be a great and fun experience.