7 Things to Do before Going on a Road Trip with Your Dog

Dogs make great traveling companions. They’re indefatigable, plus most of them are keen on exploring different places, finding new friends, and embarking on different adventures. Every dog owner has probably thought of taking their pet to their latest getaway instead of leaving them with relatives or in the care of a pet sitter.

Traveling with a dog is entirely possible, especially now that there are a lot of accommodations and destinations that have pet-friendly facilities and amenities. However, hitting the road with your furry companion does present a different set of logistic concerns, but you can take care of these by addressing them early on.

Here are some of the things you need to do to make sure you and your pet are ready for your journey:

1. Familiarize your dog with car rides. Before going on a long drive with your dog, you have to get him used to the idea of riding in your car first. Some dogs are pretty nervous when it comes to riding cars because they associate it with going to the vet or the groomer. Avoid this by taking your dog on a ride and heading to nearby fun places, like the dog park or a pet café. If he’s still too giddy, ask your vet for anti-anxiety meds for the trip.

2. Pack a bag just for your dog. Just like any traveler, your pet needs his own set of supplies while on the road. Bring your dog’s martingale collar, as well as his bed, crate, favorite toys and blanket, and small bags for picking up wastes. Of course, remember to take his bowls and enough food and water for the trip or until you can replenish your stock.

3. Bring your dog’s medical records. It goes without saying that your pet’s vaccination must be up to date before you take him anywhere away from home. This protects him from diseases he might pick up along the way. At the same time, research the veterinary clinics along the road or near where you’re going to stay, just in case you encounter any medical emergencies while on a holiday.

4. Make sure your dog is easily identified. Make sure your pet is wearing his personalized dog collar and tag at all times, and have him microchipped while you’re at it. A dog collar and tag will help you keep your dog close at hand in case he gets too earnest while exploring unfamiliar places.

5. Put your seat covers in place. Going on a trip with your dog doesn’t have to mean letting him cover your seats with fur, drool, and muddy paw prints. Seat covers won’t only keep your car interiors clean, they can also prevent you from getting distracted by your dog while driving. Consider having seat covers on hand even if you’re planning on crating your dog most of the time.

6. Look into installing safety restraints. If your pup is a particularly energetic road companion, then you might need safety restraints like dog seatbelts to keep him inside your car during the drive. This will not only make him more comfortable, it will also prevent him from hurtling out of the car in case an accident occurs.

7. Research your route and plan a stop every 3 to 5 hours. This allows your dog to relieve himself and not cause a mess inside your car. At the same time, be prepared to clean up any mess in your car by bringing wipes, cleaning supplies, and deodorizing sprays. Once your dog has relieved himself, be responsible and dispose the waste properly.

Make a checklist of the supplies and items you need before you start packing your bag and that of your dog. By taking these steps, you have a better chance of ensuring that your dog won’t only enjoy the destination, but he’ll also have a blast getting there.