Surviving a Road Trip with Your Dog

Dog in a car

Road trips can be a test of patience with your family members but put a dog in the vehicle and it can be even more stressful. A road trip should be half the fun of summer vacation. That’s why you should plan your trip in advance so that you and your family can have a great time.

Here are a few tips to help you survive that road trip with your dog and your family.

1. Bring snacks and water.

Even if you think that you’ll make that next exit in a few minutes, things can happen. The next thing you know you have a car full of grumpy people. Keep a cooler full of cold drinks and snacks for everyone, including your dog. Then if there are any delays, everyone will be happy.

2. Take breaks.

Even if you think you can drive for four hours straight, you shouldn’t. Driver and passengers can benefit from regular rest stop every 90 minutes. You can plot out your trip in advance, so you know where all the rest stops or exits are. Everyone should be getting out of the vehicle, including your dog (on a leash). Give your family a good ten minutes to use the facilities and have a short walk around.

3. Prebook motels.

Nothing is worse than having a long day of driving, only to find out that your chosen motel doesn’t allow pets. Do your research in advance. Find out where all the dog-friendly hotels and motels are on your route. If you know for certain that you’ll be stopping overnight in a specific city, then make a reservation.

4. Use crates or carriers.

It can be tempting to have your dog loose in the car so they can snuggle up to the kids. But it’s best to keep your dog in the crate or the dog carrier for most of the trip. Unfortunately, pets can suffer the most during an accident, even during a small fender bender. Be sure that your crate or carrier is secured to the seat so that it doesn’t move around.

5. Bring dog toys.

Even your dog can benefit from having a few toys in the car to keep them occupied. Place the toys inside their carrier or their dog crate. Chances are your dog will sleep through most of the route, but if they’re awake, then they can chew on a toy or snuggle with a stuffie. Have the family member seated closest to your dog check on them and talk to them frequently.

If you had difficulties with your dog on your last road trip you may not be too eager to bring them along again. If you must go on your trip, consider finding a pet sitter on our pet care marketplace. They can send you regular updates of your pooch throughout your road trip.

If you do decide to bring your dog with you, carefully plan your trip in advance. Traveling with your pet can be a fun and exciting experience!

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