Summer is nearly synonymous with “road trip”.
Aside from your ultimate road trip playlist, the only other things you really need are friends or family, and your dog nicely fits into both of these categories.
For both of you it will be about new shared experiences and companionship on the open highway, but we all know that hours in the car can often lead to discomfort as well. Here’s how to plan ahead to ensure that your canine pal has everything that they need for a great time on the road.
Packing The Car
With some smart preparation, you can be ready for any adventures on your way:
- More than enough of your dog’s food to last them the entire trip, preferably in a container / sealed to be kept fresh
- Bottle some water from home to ensure a good supply of healthy water
- You don’t go for a walk without your dog’s leash and poop bags, don’t pull out of the driveway without them either
- A towel to dry off a wet dog or to lie on for comfort
- Your dog’s favourite toys to calm them and remind them of home
- Grooming tools - dogs are great at finding burr bushes
- Don’t forget their medications
Better Safe Than Sorry
Don’t take chances with your pet’s well-being, keep everyone happy and healthy on your trip:
- Ensure that your dog is wearing tags that are up-to-date and feature your cell number while on the road
- MicroChip records should be verified as up to date
- Bring your dog’s health and vaccination record with you, just in case of emergency
- The very prepared road tripper will even know ahead of time where the nearest Emergency Vet Clinic is at all times, sometimes you can be hours from the nearest town on your route
- Just like you have to wear your seatbelt, so too should your dog wear its harness, car seat or seatbelt - animals roaming in the car can cause major distractions and in the event of an accident your pet could be dangerously tossed about the vehicle
Road Trip Etiquette
Heed these suggestions of road decorum to keep everyone comfortable:
- Please keep your head and paws inside the vehicle at all times - debris or other items could get into your dog’s eyes or hit the head, and some dogs may unexpectedly jump out of moving vehicles if the window is open wide enough
- Your dog will need rest stops too, give them the chance for a break at intervals of every 3 hours or so to stretch their legs and mark some new territory
- As a rule, everyone should eat their own food between humans and pets, even on vacation fast food is not a treat - also, beware of pushing a full meal on your dog but instead stick to light snacks to reduce the chances of car sickness while on the road.
If you have a great road trip planned for this summer and are bringing your dog along, get in touch with your veterinarian today for your pet’s health information and more suggestions for a fun trip for everyone.