Road tripping with your dog is such a special experience! Dogs love sharing in their family’s adventures and the memories are priceless!
Here are some handy ideas to keep in mind that will help make road trips a smooth and enjoyable experience for both you and your dog.
OUR TOP SEVEN TIPS FOR ROAD TRIPPING WITH YOUR DOG:
- Pack a small “to go” bag for your vehicle with everything your dog needs to be comfortable and safe while traveling:
- Collar/harness/leash for safety when not in the car
- Water bottle and collapsible dish for staying hydrated
- Small amount of easily accessible food and treats in a plastic airtight baggie.
- Most dogs don’t want to eat much when traveling – especially if they are prone to motion sickness – but very small dogs especially need to eat something to help keep their blood sugar steady.
- Paper towels, wet wipes, cleaning solution, and extra trash bag to clean up any accidents
- Waste bags to clean up after your dog on potty breaks
- Comfort item like their favorite blanket or toys to snuggle while traveling
- Ensure your up-to-date contact information is on your dog’s tag
- Include your dog’s rabies’ vaccination tag on their collar
- Take their crate with you to provide a safe and familiar place for them in your hotel or family’s/friend’s home. Include their favorite comfortable bed inside the crate. If you plan for your dog to ride in their crate while you travel, keep the doorway clear for easy access and give them adequate breaks to exercise.
- Pack plenty of your dog’s food and favorite treats for the extent of your trip or purchase the same brand(s) once you’ve arrived. Changing a dog’s food suddenly causes digestive upset.
- If your dog is on any medication, ask your vet for extra to take with you on your trip. Discuss any concerns you have with your vet before you leave for your trip. Your vet may also recommend motion-sickness medication.
- Make sure your dog is up-to-date on vaccinations and carry proof of those with you on your trip.
- If you’re staying in a hotel or rental location, choose one from the many amazing pet-friendly options.
- Be mindful of the temperature and weather conditions on your trip. Never leave your dog in a hot car and consider paw protection if she will be walking on hot concrete during the summer months. If you’re traveling in the winter months, take along her coat to keep her warm.
OTHER CONSIDERATIONS FOR ROAD TRIPPING WITH YOUR DOG:
- Be sure your dog is welcome at your destinations by discussing any concerns with your host. Find out where your host wants your dog to sleep, relieve herself, and spend free time in their home or rental. It’s best never to assume. Having this conversation ahead of time can set everyone’s expectations.
- Do a little pre-trip prep by mapping out pet-friendly destinations and pit-stops along the way. Venues are increasingly dog-friendly and meeting other pet-families is also a huge plus!
- If she’s not already, make sure your dog is comfortable in your vehicle by taking short practice trips. This will also help you know if your dog is prone to motion-sickness ahead of your big trip.
- Make sure your dog’s microchip is registered to you.
- Prepare your dog for meeting new people ahead of time by doing some in-home training or taking your dog to “visit” a nearby friend’s home to practice good social manners. Keep small treats handy to help your dog obey.
- Schedule time daily on your trip to spend time with your dog. They are experiencing new sights, sounds, and smells and will need your assurance that they are safe and loved in their new and unfamiliar surroundings.