Many people love taking road trips because it opens up new experiences for them. Each trip is an opportunity to discover new places, be spontaneous, and take a break from their daily routine.
While many people enjoy going solo, others like taking their pets along, as doing so is a great way to have some quality time with their furry friends. However, it can add some challenges to these kinds of trips, since animals can’t exactly communicate using human language whenever they need something while on the road. Also, some establishments along the way may not allow pets or may not be safe environments for pups to roam freely.
Before you hit the road, make sure you’re fully prepared for the trip and your pet’s needs. To ensure both you and your four-legged companion have an enjoyable and comfortable trip, here are some tips to keep in mind for your next journey:
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Plan Your Stops
The first thing you need to consider is to schedule frequent stops. After all, if you need to take toilet breaks, so does your pet. Even if you’re excited to reach your destination, take a few minutes every couple of stops to let your pet out for potty breaks. Ideally, you should map out your route ahead of time and look for pet-friendly spots where you can let your pet out of the car so that they can stretch their legs and get a bit of walking done. If possible, look for open grounds where they can take a few laps.
Make It Easy to Find Your Pup
For the duration of the trip, make sure your pet is always wearing their collar with the identification tag attached. This way, if your pooch decides to run and explore by itself, you can easily be contacted if a kind stranger comes across your pup.
Also, consider bringing extra collars just in case the one your pet is using breaks. If you want multiple kinds of collars, you can get in touch with some wholesale dog collars suppliers. They often have a variety of designs available at a lower cost per unit.
If you can, buy collars and leashes in bright colors so that your pup will be easy to spot in case they run off or go missing. You can also purchase eye-catching pet clothing and accessories such as dog shirts, bandanas, hats, bowties, and other items to help your pet better stand out from the environment.
Pack Enough Food and Water
It’s always best to pack ample supplies of food and water so your pet can stay healthy and hydrated while on the road. This also allows you to stick to their feeding schedule even if you experience a delay in your trip. Make sure to pack collapsible pet bowls as well so you can easily prepare their meals even while you’re still on the road.
Additionally, make sure your pup has easy access to clean water at all times. If you plan to keep your fur baby in a crate during the drive, attach a water dispenser so they can easily get a drink on their own.
Bring Some of Your Pet’s Toys or Comfort Items
Since the interior of a vehicle can feel like a new, unfamiliar environment for most pets, having their most-loved toy or favorite puppy blanket can help them feel safe and comfortable. Also, packing a few chews toys or puzzle toys will prevent them from getting bored or antsy during the trip.
Get Your Pup Used to Being in the Car
Many pets aren’t used to car rides because it’s not part of their regular activities. Sometimes, pups can become so stressed or sick while in a vehicle that they end up vomiting. To keep this from happening, you need to condition your pet for the drive.
If this is the first time your furry friend is riding your vehicle, slowly introduce them to being in a car a few weeks before the trip. Start with just letting them stay inside the car with you, with the ignition off, for just a few minutes each day. Then, once they feel more comfortable being inside the vehicle, try driving around the block with them. They should eventually get used to the sensation of being in a moving car before too long.
Adjust Your Pup’s Mealtimes Before the Trip
Adjusting your pet’s mealtimes is another effective way of preventing them from throwing up in your backseat during the ride. If possible, don’t feed them 12 hours before traveling. This will lessen the chances of them feeling any nausea during the trip. Also, while your pup should stay hydrated, try not to give them too much water before the trip. That way, you can minimize how often your fur baby will need to take potty breaks while you’re on the road.
Keep Your Pup Secured in the Vehicle
If your pup is small enough, you can keep them in a pet crate with pillows and a bed, with the crate placed on the backseat of the car. This is better than keeping them in the passenger seat, as you won’t get distracted by their movements when they become excited or anxious. This, in turn, means you can stay focused on driving safely. Alternatively, you can keep your pup in a pet car harness or pet car seat, depending on what’s most comfortable for your pup and what’s compatible with your vehicle.
If your furry pal is familiar with taking car rides or is too big for a crate, you can let them stay in the middle back seat. Make sure to secure them using a car safety harness attached to their collar. You can also look for special leashes that can attach to a car’s seat belt lock so your pet can sit, stand, and lay down comfortably on the floor or the seats.
Never Leave Your Pet Alone in the Car
When you make stops along the way, refrain from leaving your dog alone in the car. Even on relatively cool days and with the windows cracked open, the temperature inside a vehicle can change in just a few minutes and put your pet in danger. Keep in mind that temperatures higher than 70 degrees Fahrenheit or lower than 35 degrees Fahrenheit can be harmful to your pup.
So, if you’re traveling solo with your furry companion, always take them with you when you alight from the car. Remember to keep them leashed so they won’t run away from you or scare other people when they become excited or playful.
Going on a road trip with your pet is a great opportunity to deepen your bonds with each other. Indeed, these kinds of trips allow you to see new places and share new memories with your furry pal. You may even encounter some pleasant surprises along the way, like finding new activities you and your four-legged friend can enjoy and maybe even revisit in the future. Keep the above tips in mind, and both you and your best furry friend should have a safe and comfortable experience throughout the drive.