Are you planning a road trip and want to take your dog along? If you’re like me and leaving your pet behind gives you anxiety, then why not take them along? There are a few things you can do to ensure your dog will be able to enjoy the trip as well. When planning for traveling with a dog, you should first figure out if your pup will be comfortable during the travel and will not face any issues. Read this article till the very end to learn about some new tips and tricks on traveling with a dog so you can enjoy the journey together.
1. Prepare Your Dog for Traveling
If you haven’t ever traveled with your dog, it is important that you help the dog get used to trips on the road. The best way to help your baby is to get them ready for short trips first and then work on the longer trips.
If you feel that your dog isn’t fond of car rides or gets nervous during them, the best option will be to keep the dog well-fed and ensure the car’s temperature is cool. Get a backseat sling like the one here or a dog car seat like this, and take your dog for short rides to get them used to the new layout.
I personally love taking my babies to Starbucks where they can indulge in a pup cup (whipped cream in a small espresso cup). Also keeping some special treats, ones they only get when on car rides, in the car, and giving the dog some during the ride can help make it a more pleasant experience. Giving your nervous baby treats will help them see that there is nothing to fear and that good things happen in the car.
2. Schedule a Wellness Visit
A healthy pup is a happy pup. If you want to ensure that everything remains smooth throughout the trip, book a wellness visit with the vet beforehand. Once you get a check-up done for your dog, you will be at ease knowing that the dog is up to date on all the vaccinations and is in good health.
Make sure you obtain a copy of the current vaccinations your dog has had, ensuring that rabies is on that list. Most hotels will ask for a copy of this, and your pup has to be up to date on all their shots.
At the same time, you can consult the vet for any concerns related to the pet, such as the best treatments for nausea and what medications you should be taking as a precaution.
3. Plan a Proper Route
If you’re traveling alone, it is important that you plan out the trip properly. It is essential to know when you will be leaving and when you will reach your destination. You need to build in stops so your dog can get out and stretch its legs, get some water, and food, and use the bathroom.
If you have a very energetic dog, find some dog parks along the way where your baby can run and play. A tired, sleepy puppy makes for an easier travel companion.
4. Book Pet-Friendly Hotels
It is important that you book a pet-friendly hotel to ensure that you have peace of mind when you stay the night. Research pet-friendly hotels before you leave for the trip so you are not stressed trying to find one at the last minute. I love using the BringFido website to see where the pet-friendly hotels and restaurants might be.
Make sure to check the hotel charges and policies on bringing a dog with you and choose an affordable place. Some hotels charge a huge amount of money for dogs, so traveling on a budget could be difficult for you. Sometimes, hotels do not allow a particular dog breed or weight. I use Booking.com and Hotels.com to find affordable and comfortable places to stay.
5. Create a Safe Space for Your Dog
If most of your time will be spent on the road, make sure you have created a comfortable space for your dog to relax and have a good time without getting anxious. You could give your dog the entire backseat or even place a divider in between so that the dog does not suddenly jump on you while driving and become a distraction.
You could also increase the dog’s comfort by placing a dog bed and some blankets in the backseat so the dog feels more at home.
6. Take Dog-Friendly Treats and Toys
They might get bored when you are on a long drive with your dog. The best idea is to make sure that you take dog-friendly treats and toys along. Make sure you keep your dog’s favorite treats and toys in their seat to help the dog remain less anxious. Your dog will feel secure knowing they are in familiar surroundings with things they enjoy.
A great tip that came in handy for me when I traveled with my puppy for the first time was to get a playpen. These are great if you must leave the dog for a few minutes at the hotel while grabbing dinner or groceries. If you decide to use this or any crate, let your dog get used to it at home before you use it during your travels. Putting a dog into a crate that has never been in an unfamiliar place can cause massive anxiety.
7. Be Patient!!
The biggest tip I can give you is to be patient. Even if your dog is an experienced traveler, he can get anxious and act differently than you are used to. Calmly handle your pup, keeping in mind that they feed off your energy, so if you are tense, they will be so as well. They might be nervous especially when it comes to checking into hotels. Remember that this is a very new and uncertain place for them and they don’t understand where they are or why they are there so patience is key.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. Is it a good idea to travel with dogs?
Planning a trip with your dogs can be an exciting experience as you and your dog both will have a great time. Just make sure you plan your trip properly, including the hotels and potty stops. This will help you stay at ease and not worry much.
Q2. How to calm down your dog during a road trip?
If you want to ensure that your dog remains calm during a road trip, then make sure your dog is someone who would like to travel. To help your dog stay calm, you can take along the toys and the treats that the dog enjoys. Plan stops where your dog can be a dog, play, and get some of their energy out.
If you think medication could help, speak to your vet about anxiety meds.
Traveling with a dog can be one of the best things that you have experienced. You will spend quality time with your dog as you explore the country. You will get to know your dog even better, and this might be the most needed vacation with your pet. Enjoy your journey!