While the idea of bringing your beloved canine friend on your next big road trip sounds simple enough in theory, adequately preparing for the experience is probably going to end up being more work than you imagined. That's not to say that you shouldn't bring along your best furry friend, but that it's important to prepare at least a week in advance to ensure you have everything primed and ready for your pet on his big adventure. If you're about to embark on a long quest of driving for hours towards the horizon line, make a checklist with these helpful tips ahead of time and learn how best to travel with your pup, for both his comfort and yours.
No, don't toss last night's leftovers into your vehicle (unless, perhaps, they're travel-friendly). Bringing a doggy bag means collecting all of your pet's essential-needs items to guarantee that he's properly taken care of while out on the road. This could include anything from tasty treats to reward him for good behavior in unknown territory, to eco-friendly poop bags when you have to make pit stops on the side of the road unexpectedly. Gathering together food, water, bowls to hold them in , supplements and any other dietary-needs products your dog generally enjoys is crucial for supporting your fluffy friend and allowing him to enjoy his trip without inevitably dealing with upset tummy issues. After all, your dog has no idea where he's going or who he's going to see, which can be anxiety-inducing enough to result in stomach problems. Sticking to your pet's normal wet food, kibble and treats while traveling is the best way to stabilize his bodily functions throughout your epic journey.
Just as your doggy's everyday food and water needs should be addressed, so too should the possibility of him needing basic medical care along your road trip. Depending on the distance and timing of your travels, and the amount of unknowns that can come along with making frequent stops, you should keep copies of your pet's medical history on hand as a precaution. Items such as vaccination records or daily prescriptions should be available in case of emergency, for the sake of meeting all of your pet's health requirements as he travels. Meanwhile, storing a simple yet effective first aid kit in your vehicle or within your personal belongings can also be highly important. Packing items like tweezers for removing splinters or ticks, basic gauze bandages and tape, or hypoallergenic wipes can be crucial in a last-minute, bad situation where public convenience stores might not be accessible.
If you and your pup are going to be spending hours at a time in your vehicle, why not give your pet somewhere comfortable to relax while also protecting your car's interiors? There are a myriad of dog seat covers available for those who spend a lot of time on the road with their dog, preventing anything from excessive hair and accidental potty stains, to water marks after getting caught in a bad rainstorm. Whatever the case may be, setting up a proper cover in your backseat can give your pup somewhere to feel comfortable and safe while you ride, while also safeguarding your seat's upholstery. Furthermore, as more of a safety measure than simply a method of comfort, you should also invest in a dog harness that attaches to your car's seat belt for additional security. Many harness options these days detach to be used as regular leashes once you're outside of the car (an ID and leash should always be a must-have item for your checklist), and they're designed to be energy-absorbent in order to cushion your pet against bodily damage or harm during a car accident. Overall, these easy-to-find products require little effort on your part, but can end up being highly useful and practical items to have on hand as you explore.
Despite possibly being hundreds or even thousands of miles away from your own home on different traveling occasions, you can easily reassure your pet by bringing his home along for the ride. Add his bed or crate to your journey's itinerary, and post it up in the back of your car or on the floor of your hotel room to give your fluffy friend a relaxing, peaceful reminder of home. Not only will his bed have the familiar smells he's accustomed to, but if you choose to bring the crate he was trained to sleep in, his regular routine won't seem as disrupted on the road, which can help alleviate any stress or anxiety on his part about sleeping in a new place.
Whether you spend a few nights camping in the deep woods or you simply want to enjoy your destination outdoors as much as possible, having your dog's outdoor gear ready and waiting can be a life-changer. Bring a foldable rain poncho to keep him warm and comfortable in inclement weather, or attach a bright safety light to his collar for easier visibility should he happen to wander too far. If nothing else, pack an assortment of tennis balls for playing fetch in the open landscape.
Traveling with your lovable canine is bound to create plenty of warm memories, but preparing your dog for the open road does take time. Be sure to pack everything you truly need by using these helpful guidelines as part of your personal checklist, and set off on your new adventure without a hitch.