Planning holidays and road trips is always a fun thing to do. When you are a dog or pet owner it can be more involved because usually you need to find a pet sitter and make those plans way ahead of time. Using a website like Housesitmatch.com is a great way to find affordable sitters. But what if you were to consider road tripping with your dog..? Here are some top tips to help you on your way.
Road Tripping with Your Dog – Excellent tips to note
There’s nothing quite like the exhilaration that comes along with a good old fashioned planning holidays and road trips. Windows down, music blasting, hitting the open road with pit stops, and sight-seeing to enjoy along the way.
Whether you’re traveling during the holidays to visit family or going on an adventure with friends, bringing along your canine companion is often a must.
While man’s best friend can be a pleasant travel buddy, there are a few necessary preparations that must be made in order to ensure an enjoyable trip for both you and your pup.
Top Tip #1 – Practice road tripping with your dog
Before any road trip, it’s important to give your dog several shorter practice trips to train them for the long drive.
Stop by your local dog park or a favorite pet store, helping to reinforce a positive association between the car and a pleasant experience. The practice drives will also allow you to study your dog’s behavior in a moving vehicle to recognize any problematic symptoms, such a motion sickness or anxiety, which will help you be better prepared for your trip.
Tip #2 Pack the Essentials
As with any travel plans, make sure you bring along all of the pet essentials for your road tripping.
- Feeding bowls
- Poop bags
- Collapsible Crate/bed
- Grooming supplies
- Shot records/Updated tags
- Dog-ramp for pet’s with limited mobility (such as the ones at Chasing Tails)
3. Plan Your Route
When planning your travel route, make sure to note specific dog-friendly pit stops. This really helps when you start truly road tripping with your dog. Practice will help you both get used to a routine.
Whether it’s a rest stop on the highway or a pet-friendly restaurant or hotel you visit, do your research to ensure there are plenty of locations to stop and let your dog stretch their legs or use the restroom.
Look up dog parks near your destination for a fun ending to the long trip.
4. Protect Your Dog
It is important to think about the safety of both you and your dog inside a moving vehicle when road tripping.
Not only can a dog create a dangerous distraction to the driver, in the event of a sudden stop or accident, your unrestrained pet can quickly turn into a life-threatening projectile.
If keeping your dog inside a crate is not an option, consider using one of many other products such as harnesses or carriers that can keep your dog secure.
5. Protect Your Vehicle
Whether your canine is a seasoned traveler or a newbie to driving, you’ll want to protect your upholstery from any possible pet damage.
Laying down a pet mat or even a blanket can protect your car from hair, scratches, motion sickness, a bathroom accident, or even the inevitable tracking in of mud and dirt.
6. Road Tripping Entertainment
Once the initial excitement of the car ride wears off, it is helpful to have a source of entertainment prepared for your pet.
During those long stretches of driving where pit stops aren’t an option, provide your dog with a chew toy or a treat-dispensing puzzle to keep them engaged and away from boredom chewing on your seatbelts or upholstery.
When a stop is possible, exercise your dog with a fun game of tug of war or fetch.
7. Pick Up After Your Dog
It goes without saying that no one finds pleasure in the sensation of accidentally stepping in dog poop.
Be a responsible and considerate owner by picking up after your dog. Bring an abundant supply of poop bags along on your trip to be prepared. When possible, take your dog to a pet-specific area of a rest stop or park before they relieve themselves. In the event that you run out of poop bags, a grocery bag or even a ziplock bag will suffice.
8. Never Leave Your Dog In A Hot Car
Vehicular death by heatstroke is responsible for the loss of countless canine lives annually. And it might be easy to forget your faithful friend in the car when you are road tripping, because you are out of your usual routine.
Keep in mind that your car gets incredibly hot in the sun. Without the air conditioner running, a few minutes is all it takes for temperatures to rise to unbearable levels.
Never leave your dog unattended in the heat. If you must step away from your vehicle, crack open the windows, turn on a portable fan if possible, set up reflective windshield covers, and return to your car as quickly as possible.
Road tripping takeaways
Bringing along your canine best friend on a road tripping expedition can be thrilling. It is one of the many benefits of traveling by vehicle. But making sure you are well-prepared for the trip is key to an enjoyable travel experience for both you and your dog.
Take into consideration the safety, comfort, and needs of your pet and your trip will surely be one to remember.
Further reading about dogs and dog care
At Housesitmatch.com we always try to share useful and informative blogs and practical advice with our members. Read on to find some helpful articles with useful tips for dog owners and dogsitters about dogsitting.