How to Prepare Your Dog for a Road Trip

Do you have a checklist ready before you take your dog on a road trip? It’s important to have one because your dog is supposed to have absolute fun and safety while traveling with you in the car. Your Fido might get anxious or develop motion sickness if he’s just not ready yet. Anyway, you need to keep in mind several other things about your dog’s comfort before your dog tags along with you on your next road trip.

When you have a dog, you need to plan ahead. From your dog’s food and water to your stays and the places you’re going to visit, it has to cover everything. Let’s get into the nitty-gritty of the idea so that you will have good times with your canine buddy.

Preparing your dog for a road trip

1. Ensure your dog’s microchipped and his tag is up-to-date

Your pet accidentally gets lost in a foreign place is the last thing you would want to happen. Not to mention, your dog should be microchipped so that if he ends up in a shelter, you can be contacted. If you have moved after you got your dog, make sure you update the address and other details on your pooch’s tag.

Also, if you want to be on a safer side, you can get your dog a GPS collar so that you can locate him and keep an eye on his activities. Nevertheless, those collars run on battery and you also have to make sure it is always charged.

2. Provide them with comfortable space in the car

If you’re planning to keep your dog in the crate while traveling, you should not consider the crate as any other luggage item and place it between your other stuff. Also, if you want to keep him uncrated, the dog will need enough comfy space to lay down. However, an uncrated dog should be tied with the seat by a dog seat belt and harness. Imagine you’re in the middle seat on an oversold flight for 12 hours, your dog’s going to feel the same way if he doesn’t get the space he needs. So, plan accordingly and reserve your dog’s space in the car.

3. Make Him Accustomed to Car Rides

Not all dogs are going to like the idea of being on a moving surface and may get anxious and carsick. That being said, you should go on test rides with your pooch and see how he reacts if your dog has never ridden in a car.

This is similar to crate training, where you make your dog associate happy feelings with the crate. If your dog is nervous and anxious, you should use the positive reinforcement method to make a car a happy place to be in.

When you finally decide to take your dog with you on your road trip, don’t forget to give him his favorite treats often. For example, when your dog gets into the car, offer him a treat. When you stop at a gas station or at a convenient place for a break, let your dog out and do his business. Once he eliminates, give him a treat. Then call him to be back in the car, and when he gets in, toss another treat. This way, your dog will understand the action that gets him rewards.

Once your dog learns to eliminate during the potty and pee breaks and is comfortable with car rides, you can stop giving him treats. Your dog will understand what he’s supposed to do.

4. Carry a copy of vaccination history

Anna from Doglovesbest says, “Travelling to an unknown place possesses many uncertainties. If your dog gets sick or you want to board your dog at a pet hostel for a day or two, you will need a copy of your pooch’s vaccination history.” A soft copy on your phone will also do, but it is always helpful to keep a hard copy handy.

5. Talk to your veterinarian

If you’ve never visited the place you’re going to travel, you should definitely talk with your vet about your trip. The place you’re visiting may have some geographically prevalent diseases that your dog needs to stay protected from. A vat can tell you about that. Also, if your dog has any medical conditions, check with your vet if your dog can travel safely or not.

6. Keep your dog’s toys handy

An energetic dog needs to spend his calories by exercising. If your dog loves to play fetch, keep a chuck-it ball with you. That will allow you to throw the ball quite far away without even touching it with bare hands. On your way to the destination, you can stop by at an appropriate place to play with your dog and let him run and spend the pent up energy.

Also, don’t forget to bring his favorite chew toys to keep his surroundings and playtime as much familiar as possible.

7. Check with regulations in your destinations

Never assume a place to be a dog-friendly or you may end up breaking some laws. Some places don’t allow dogs or any pets. In that case, if you don’t want to go to certain places without your dog, you may want to change your plans altogether.

In addition, search for that place online and see how you can get the best experience with your beloved buddy. This will help you to avoid unnecessary inconvenience and also save you quite a lot of money.

Also, if you don’t want to change your plans because you’ve been planning to go to the place for quite a long time, you can check for pet boarding services ahead. You can search on Yelp or any other platform where you can read reviews and find the best pet sitting and boarding services available at the place.

8. Prepare a pet travel kit and don’t forget to add a crate

You should prepare your pet’s travel kit the way you pack your luggage and want to be sure not to forget anything. First, make a list of all the things your pooch will need on his travel. This may include food, treats, bowls, first-aid kit, medicines, toys, leash, harness, crate, poop bags, water pipe (if your dog will need a bath), towels, wipes, ramp, etc.

Please consider carrying a dog crate with you, preferably, a collapsible one. This will help your dog to stay calm and provide familiar surroundings in a foreign place. For example, if your dog is not comfortable in a hotel room, and barks incessantly, a dog crate will be his comfy abode and can rest in there.

The endnote

I hope the tips I have given are helpful to you. Apart from this, please check with any dangers the destination possess for your dog. For instance, if you’re going to do hiking and camping in a forest area, you might not want your dog to bark at wild animals in the nighttime. In a nutshell, prepare your dog and plan ahead everything. If you have any questions, let us know in the comment section below.

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