Generally speaking, road trips are an amazing opportunity to explore an area, enjoy the journey and turn the destination itself into a major part of the trip. However, the worry about leaving your pet behind for a prolonged period of time may make your mind uneasy. So, what do you do? Do you find a dog sitter, or do you find a way to travel with your dog? While the latter may sound difficult, it is by no means impossible. Here are five tips to help you figure this one out.
1. Try it out first
Taking a pet who’s not accustomed to traveling by car will be a major shock. So, why go straight for the road trip. Why not take some time to prepare your beloved dog for the journey? Take them for several 20-minute rides and then gradually increase the duration. Once they’re accustomed to the sound, the vibration and the overall conditions of the journey, it will be a lot easier for them to embrace a lengthy road trip that you intend to take them next time. Also, not every route is pet-friendly, so make sure to have that in mind.
2. Talk to the vet
Chances are that your veterinarian is your dog’s second favorite human. They’re also the ones knowing them the best, so you definitely need to take their opinion into account. Start by checking if your pet is healthy enough to travel. Also, make sure that they have all their vaccines and tick preventatives are up to date. You should also use this opportunity to inquire about anti-nausea and stress-reducing methods, in case you need them somewhere on the journey.
3. Make sure your car is prepared for the journey
Don’t get us wrong; taking a semi-broken-down vehicle on a journey across the country is always a bad idea. However, fixing your car in the rain is far more difficult when you have a concerned pet inside. This is why you need to be 100 percent sure that your car is in top shape. Perform all the repairs that you see as necessary and even look at an online auto parts store in order to make the necessary replacements. Also, don’t forget to tend to some of the simpler (DIY) repairs, like fluids replacement, replacement of your fog lights and the replacement of your windshield blades.
4. Take frequent breaks and entertain them
Even if you were to travel with a human companion, a lengthy road trip could be a tedious matter. So, take the matter into your own hands and try to keep your dog entertained. For starters, bring them something to chew on. Second, try to keep them busy in other ways, for instance, you can bring them a tug toy or a fetch toy (that you will use during your break stops). Also, keep in mind that traveling with a dog has one similarity to traveling with children – more frequent stops should be mandatory. Remember that your dog is an intelligent creature, which is why they’ll try to communicate when they’re distressed. Listen to them!
The most important thing on this trip is your effort to keep the dog safe. So, ensuring pet-friendliness needs to come at the forefront. A dog sling or a hammock in the back seat can ensure a safe space for your dog during the travel. It is also one of the best ways to protect your backseat upholstery from claw and bite marks. Moreover, keep in mind that keeping your eyes on the road tends to provide greater protection for everyone than peaking at the back seat every several seconds.
If you find this first journey to be smooth, fun and devoid of any serious trouble, you can easily turn road traveling with your dog into a lifestyle. In other words, you can constantly be on the go, without having to worry about the beloved pet that’s left behind – a clear and undeniable win-win scenario.