Rachel is a stay-at-home pet mom, caring for her dog, cat, turtle, tortoise, and fish. She's a content writer in various niches but most notably in the pet field, educating pet parents on the health and wellbeing of their furry friends. When she's not writing, she's reading, playing video games, or organizing something.
Dog Tips

Road Trips With A Dog – 10 Tips To Make The Journey Easier

Rachel Poli Author
May 3 ·
road trips with a dog

Most of the time, “car” is a magic word that most dogs get excited about. However, their excitement might wane when they get into the car, depending on where you’re headed. Also, it depends on how long you’re in the car. So, let’s talk about road trips with a dog. Here are ten tips to make the journey easier. 

Before You Leave

Before you head out with your dog, you want to make sure you and your pup are prepared.

First, map out the route you’re going to take. Then, read the regulations about each area you’ll stop in to ensure it’s okay if you bring your dog.

Also, bring your dog to the vet. Even if you’re only going to be gone for a week or so, you want your doggo to have a clean bill of health.

Lists certainly help, as well. When you pack your bag, pack a separate bag for your furry friend.

Train And Prepare Your Dog For The Trip

In addition, no matter where you’re going, you want your doggo to be well behaved – in and out of the car.

Leash training is essential. When you bring your dog outside the car for a walk or potty break, they need to behave on their leash.

So, take the time to practice basic commands with them and how to walk nicely on a leash. Also, teach them not to jump up on people.

Car etiquette is also something to work on. For example, you want to ensure they stay in their designated spot in the back seat. Also, teach them a “release” word so that they don’t jump out of the car on their own until you say so.

Before your trip, drive short distances to get them used to the car and practice these commands.

Then you and your furry friend should be ready to take a road trip together.

10 Tips To Make Road Trips Easier With A Dog

Training and preparing are only the beginning. The actual trip can be a challenge. So, here are ten tips to make road trips easier with your dog.

1. Pack Your Dog’s Medical Records

This may sound silly, but it’s a good idea to have an updated vaccination list and an ID tag on their collar. Depending on where you’re going, you may need to prove your dog is up to date. Also, it’ll help if your dog comes down with something mid-trip and you need to bring them to a nearby vet.

2. Give Your Dog Its Own Space In The Car

No matter the size of your dog, make sure they have their spot in the car. You can give them a seat belt that hooks onto their collar to keep them safe. But in this spot, lay down their favorite blanket and provide them with a couple of their favorite toys. It will keep them in place and also remain occupied while you drive.

3. Allow Water At All Times

Your dog needs to stay hydrated. No matter the weather outside or in the car, make sure your dog has access to clean water. Or schedule water breaks frequently during the trip. The last thing you’ll want is your dog getting dehydrated, sick, or motion sickness in the car.

4. Plan In Bathroom Breaks

When mapping out your route, make sure you factor in bathroom breaks for your dog. No matter where you are on your journey, your dog should be allowed to go the bathroom and stretch its legs once every two to three hours. Also, make sure you bring poop bags to clean up after your dog.

5. Bring Comfort Items

Even if your dog loves going on car rides, it might get anxious after a few hours. So, bring some comfort items along, such as their favorite blanket or favorite toys. In addition, you can surprise them with a new toy halfway through the drive. It’ll reward them and also give them something new and exciting to think about for a while.

6. Bring Plenty Of Treats And Use Positive Reinforcement

Treats are also a comfort item. Also, it’s a great way to reward your pup for being good in the back seat. Use treats when they walk well on the leash outside the car, remain in the car until you tell them to get out and stay in their spot during the drive. Road trips are meant to be fun, so make them less stressful than possible (for both of you).

7. Camp And Bring A Collapsible Crate

Camping is better than finding a pet-friendly hotel. It will allow your dog to stretch its legs and fully wander. Regardless, you should also bring a collapsible crate just in case. If you do have to stay at a hotel, the crate will be helpful.

8. Your Car Will Get Dirty

Keep in mind that your car is going to get dirty. Your car may be drooling in the back seat, fogging up the back window, and may get dirt everywhere from exploring outside after their potty break. So, bring some cleaning supplies with you, but otherwise, don’t stress about the mess until you get home.

9. Never Leave Your Dog Unattended

You should never leave your dog alone in the car, no matter the temperature outside. However, if you’re in an unfamiliar place, you should never leave your dog unattended. They might get too anxious waiting for you.

10. Go To Local Dog Parks

Make it fun for your dog, too. If you drive by a dog-friendly park, please stop by. Let your dog stretch its legs and meet new friends. It should be a fun experience for them as well.

Road Trips With Dogs Are Fun

Road tripping with your dog doesn’t have to be a stressful experience. It can be fun to explore and make memories with your pup that both of you will remember for many years. 

Rachel Poli Author
Rachel is a stay-at-home pet mom, caring for her dog, cat, turtle, tortoise, and fish. She's a content writer in various niches but most notably in the pet field, educating pet parents on the health and wellbeing of their furry friends. When she's not writing, she's reading, playing video games, or organizing something.
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