A dog on a road trip.

Preparing For A Road Trip

Are you about to take your dog on a road trip? Go prepared with these helpful dog road trip tips. Tips that can turn a potentially stressful event into a rewarding memory for you and your dog.

Tips For A Happy Dog Road Trip

A road trip with your dog can be a very memorable time, ideally because of the good memories. Here are some ways to ensure that the memories are mainly favorable.

1) Have Your Chip Updated

Hopefully, you have had your dog micro-chipped, because it is the easiest way to make sure that your dog returns to you if they run away or get lost. For well under $100, you can have a vet insert one of these micro-chips under your dogs skin. The procedure is nearly pain free and since nearly every vet and animal shelter will have a chip reader, it is a great way to ensure your dog’s safe return.

If you have not had your dog chipped, do so. If you already have a chip, be sure that your address and phone number is updated before you set off on your trip.

2) Give Them Plenty Of Space

Make sure that you plan where your dog will sit or lay on your road trip.

We tend to underestimate just how much we are going to bring on trips and this could leave little space for your canine companion. Make sure that you consider their needs when you do your packing. Leave plenty of room for them to lay down comfortable, preferably with a view of the road.

If making room for your pet required rearranging your cargo, so be it. One easy way to do that is to rent a roof top carrier. For just a few dollars, you could get all of your luggage out of your vehicle and onto the roof.

3) Plan Water & Food Breaks

It is very easy to forget about your dogs dietary needs while traveling. At home they likely have a water bowl and maybe even food set out all of the time. On a road trip, you will have to take the time to give them these things and avoid the urge to simply push on because you are making good time.

Schedule time intervals to make stops on your road trip so you can water and feed your dog. Also, be sure to stick to the same kinds of food that you are eating at home. You do not want a sick puppy on your road trip, so stick to the normal kibble and avoid giving your dog any fast food.

4) Pack Some Comfort

Stress is a real thing for your dog, especially since you will not be able to tell them where they are going. All that they will know is that they are in a car and they have been there longer than they ever have in the past.

Ease your dog’s mind by bringing some of the comforts of home with you. A blanket with the scent of home on it or their favorite dog toy can do wonders for making your trip that much more comfortable for your pet.

5) Scout Your Hotel Stays

There are a lot of “dog friendly” hotels out there, but not all of them are going to be comfortable for your dog. Just because they say that you can bring a dog into a facility, does not mean your dog will be happy there.

Take the time to scout your locations before you make reservations. With Google Maps, this is an incredibly easy thing. Once you find a hotel that takes dogs, enter their address in Maps. Then, look at the street view camera for the location. Are there plenty of places to walk your dog or is it a concrete desert?

If you have a small dog like a Pekingese, you might be okay anywhere, but larger dogs like a German Shepherd or Great Dane, will need space to walk.

6) Plan To Never Leave Them Behind

Your vehicle is no place to leave your pet on a road trip, even if the weather is nice. What this means is that you will need to plan your stops along the way. Opt for fast casual or fast food restaurants and avoid any activity that would take you away from our vehicle without your dog.

Once in your hotel, bring a folding kennel with you should you need to leave your pet for any length of time. You never know when separation anxiety could take home and you do not want to come back to a wrecked hotel room.

7) Be A Responsible Owner

One last dog road trip tip! Don’t be that dog owner who does not pick up their pet waste. Dog friendly areas can be hard to find along highways and tourist destinations. The ones that exist can easily be wrecked by lazy dog owners. Be a part of the solution and not the problem.

Take doggie bags with you and use them. It just comes with the territory.

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