While bringing your furry friend with you on the road can be an enjoyable adventure, there are a few things that you should keep in mind to make the journey go smoothly. Here, our Perry vets share some key tips and advice to help your road trip with your dog be a success.
Traveling With Dogs in a Car For a Long Distance
Planning a cross-country road trip with a dog is already a lot of work, so adding a pet to the mix is only bound to make it more complicated.
There are some things to keep in mind when it comes to traveling with your dog in order to make sure that everyone has a good time. You will want to plan your route ahead of time and consider how often you should stop while on a road trip with your dog. Just like humans, some dogs can be prone to car sickness, so it is important for them to get breaks so they won't get sick while you're driving.
You will also want to create a packing list for your dog to make sure you don't forget any of the essentials that you will need while on your road trip. Here are some items that you won't want to forget when bringing your dog on a road trip:
Food, Water & Treats
Of course, before starting your trip, you'll want to make sure you have enough food and water for your dog for its longevity, as well as good dishes for them to eat out of. Having to stop and buy more food for your dog can add delays to your trip and there is a chance you will not be able to find your dog's preferred brand of food if you have a pickier pup.
It is very important to bring along plenty of water for both you and your dog. Either in bottles or larger jugs/containers is the easiest way. You may want to avoid letting your dog drink from "random" or unknown water sources on your trip because it could cause an upset stomach in your dog. Water is as essential as it gets, so no reason to take a chance.
You can also bring treats along which can help to convince your dog to be well-behaved while you are driving.
Leash, Collar and/or Harness
Your dog should always have their collar on when traveling with you, with their I.D. and license tags attached. They should be leashed when they're outside of the car. Make sure your dog’s info is up to date on the identification tags, with the correct phone number so you can be contacted if your dog gets lost.
It’s also a good idea to add a second number of a friend on the tag as an extra precaution, especially when traveling.
Toys, Chews or Bones
Your dog can and probably will get bored during the long drive so it is important to have a few things to keep them entertained. Toys and bones will give your dog something to play with and chew on, making the trip less boring.
Medications / Prescriptions
If your dog is on medication it is very important to remember to bring it. If you forget it, you could have issues finding a vet to get a replacement or your dog could end up sick.
You may also want to pack preventive medication for your dog as well like motion sickness medication.
Towels or Blankets
Towels are a good way to protect your seats from dirt and mud throughout your trip. They can also be used to clean your dog off if they get muddy or wet during the trip.
Blankets from home are important to bring because your dog probably won't have its normal bed to sleep in during the car ride. The blankets can make your dog more comfortable during your road trip and they can also protect your car.
Waste Bags (Poop Bags)
When you have to pull over to let your dog use the bathroom it is important to have poop bags to put your waste in. Having a supply of waste bags in your car can be very helpful throughout the entire trip.
First Aid Kit
If an accident were to happen and your dog becomes ill or hurt it is important to have all the right vaccination records for any vet you may need to see.
You also want to make sure you have some first aid supplies packed as well like bandages or gauze to patch up minor injuries.
If your dog has an accident along the way, you are going to need some cleaning supplies to clean up your car. We suggest you pack air fresheners, rubber gloves, fabric cleaners, and trash bags.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.