Road tripping with your dog
Following a historic adoption rate in 2020, we know that many will want to take their dogs with them on their next road trip! Is it possible for car travel to be safe and pleasant for both dog and owner? We say YES. With a little bit of preparation, your pooch can easily accompany you on your driving adventures, with plenty of fun for everyone!
Just like travelling with children, travelling with your dog means you'll want to pack some essentials. First and foremost: calculate how many servings of pet food you'll need for the entire trip. For transport, some owners opt for airtight plastic containers and others bring the full bag of kibble. As long as your pet has their food and water bowls, you’ll be all set. You can even find collapsible ones at pet stores, as well as dog-friendly water bottles. Minimum space for maximum efficiency!
And don’t forget the doggie poop bags! It’s important to keep things clean and be respectful of the environment. Then, of course, there are the accessories: a harness, a leash, and a blanket for sleep. Equip yourself with a lanyard if you're going camping. This will allow your dog to feel free while being securely tied up. If you opt for camping in the heart of nature, light-up collars are perfect for spotting your pooch in the wild from afar!
If your dog decides to cool off with a plunge in the water, it’s a good idea to have an old towel on hand in the car. If you haven't already, make sure to buy a rear seat protector now to keep your car clean.
Remember to locate a veterinary clinic in the region where you'll be staying and have your dog’s vaccination records handy to avoid any unwanted hassle.
And now it’s time to hit the road!
Road safety tips
Once you’re on the road, you’ll also have to remember the needs of your four-legged co-pilot. Rule number one: the dog travels in the back seat at all times. Check out our 8 tips to safely travel with your pet in your car. For small dogs, a carrier is better.
Make sure to stop frequently so your dog can stretch their legs and do their business. Pay close attention to the temperature within the car so that your furry friend is comfortable. If you lower the windows, be careful not to let your pet stick their head or chest out, as it could be dangerous. When going outside the vehicle, never leave your pet inside alone.
Once you’ve arrived
Look for places where dogs are allowed. Several accommodations and sites now accept dogs and even welcome them like family. Select locations where Fido’s allowed to walk. Following a trail, hiking in the mountains, swimming in the river, or camping in the forest are some of the activities that are often perfect for both of you. There are even some restaurant patios that welcome dogs... they’re worth a visit! Also, locate nearby dog parks so that your canine companion can enjoy a free-play session.
Remember to keep your schedule flexible. You'll need to adapt to your dog's needs and find a shared rhythm. The main thing for a good relationship: make sure their basic needs are always met — bathroom breaks, food, hydration, exercise, and well-deserved rest. That’s all it takes to create a memorable road trip with your pet!