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Road Trip Rules for Your Pup

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Going on a road trip with your pup? Follow these simple rules to make sure you both have a safe and happy trip!

Look for a Pet-Friendly Destination – Before putting down that deposit, make sure you are booking something that is pet-friendly. Make sure the hotel/house/campsite where you want to stay is pet friendly to ensure your pup’s time away is as enjoyable as your own. Some communities have bans on certain breeds of dog so check with the city first before making any arrangements. It won’t matter if where you are staying allows pets if your dog’s breed is banned from the area.

Practice Makes Perfect – Start taking your dog on short car rides a few weeks before you plan on taking your trip to be sure they are up for a longer car ride. Be on the look-out for any car sickness or anxiety that your pup may experience so you can best handle the situation when traveling. Make sure you use the same gear during your practice trips as you will be using during the real thing (i.e. crates, leashes, etc.)

Visit Your Vet – Make an appointment with your veterinarian before your trip to be sure your pet is up for travel. Be sure to have vaccinations updated and ask for a health certificate/vaccination records to take with you on your trip. If your pup’s car sickness or anxiety is mild and they’re approved to travel, your vet can offer remedies to make the ride less stressful.

Update Your Tags / Micro-chip - Be sure that your contact information is up-to-date on both your pup’s tag and microchip ahead of time to help lessen the likelihood of your pup getting lost while traveling.

Packing for Your Pup – To ensure that your pup’s travel is the least stressful as possible, make sure to pack their favorite blankets and familiar toys (lots of them!). Pack any medications your pup may be on and bring food, treats and Dinovite from home. Manufacturers vary throughout the country and the ingredients can be slightly different when bought elsewhere. Make sure you feed your pet 3-4 hours before departing and skip feeding in a moving vehicle to avoid sickness. Pack bottled water or water from home as some dogs have sensitive stomachs. Switching water sources while on your trip could also lead to stomach upset.

On the Road – While traveling, make sure your pup is either harnessed in the backseat or crated. It is normal to feel sorry for your pet having to travel this way, but remember it is a relief to anxious pups and safer too. Make sure the crate is strapped in and well ventilated. Your dog should have room to stand up and move around inside the crate. Do not leave your windows open when pets are unrestrained in the car. Many pets end up getting lost at stops and tollbooths when this occurs.

Take a Break – Pups seem to need more breaks during a car ride than humans. Make sure you stop to stretch and walk often. Bring your waste bags with you to leave your stop as clean as you found it. Be sure not to leave your dog in a parked car, even if it’s only for a few minutes. Your dog is more likely to suffer from heat exhaustion in your car than anywhere else. Temperatures inside a car can reach up to 160 degrees when parked in the sun, and that’s on a “cooler” day of around 78 degrees!

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