Going on a road trip is a perfect way to bond with your furry friend. Their time as a dog is only limited and we sometimes overlook the fact that they age faster than us.
Whenever we leave for work, they get separation anxiety and develop a fear that we may never come back. This is why we should plan on taking them on a vacation so that we could spend some quality time with them.
Your dog’s checklist of road trip essentials:
- Dog food and feeding bowl
- Water and water bowl
- Poop bags
- Medications and vitamins
- Collar, leash, dog tags
- Travel crate/kennel
- Medical records / vaccinations records
- Grooming Kit
- Toys (to keep him busy/entertained)
- First-aid kit
What to Expect
- Dogs are just like humans when it comes to traveling. Some dogs get excited and would like a window that is slightly opened to enjoy the wind and the outside scent, while some may get uncomfortable and carsick. It is advisable to take your dog to short road trips before the big day to help them get acquainted with how it feels like being in a moving vehicle.
- Make sure to set a time for your dog to poop and pee. If they are already potty-trained and does not relieve himself inside the house, it would be easier for them to control their bladder while inside the car. However, if they aren’t potty-trained yet, have them wear diapers to avoid a messy and smelly car ride.
- Prepare their own space. Put a warm and fuzzy blanket where they could rest and sleep comfortably. Place their toys around them to keep them busy.
Do’s and Don’ts
- Prepare a list of hotels or inns where pets are allowed.
- Don’t feed your dogs too much before a long drive.
- See to it that your dog is up to date with their shots before traveling.
- Have them microchipped before the trip. Microchipping your dog increases your chances of finding them if ever they get lost or stolen.
- Don’t travel to places where the climate is not suitable for your dog. For example, thick and double-coated dogs like Chow-chows and Siberian Huskies do not adapt well in hot climates. Short-haired breeds like Chihuahuas and Shar Peis wouldn’t do well in extreme cold.
- Take note of vet clinics along the way and on your destination.
- Never leave your dog alone inside the car even for just a short time. If you are traveling alone with them, bring them everywhere with you even if you’re just going to the restroom. They could find a way to get out, get lost, or he could get stolen. The temperature inside the car increases rapidly, and leaving them alone inside your car may result in heatstroke.
- Keep them restrained in a dog seat belt, or keep them inside their travel crate while the car is in motion. This is not just for their safety but also for the safety of all the passengers.
- Bring a camera to capture precious moments. Make sure to also bring extra batteries, a fully-charged powerbank, and a charger.
- Check your vehicle’s condition before going on a trip. Fuel up, check your tires, oil, and water. Make sure you have a spare tire, and that you are equipped with all the necessary tools. Bring flashlights and batteries for emergency situations. Your safety is their safety.
- If you are headed to the beach, make sure your dog is always hydrated. Don’t take them swimming for too long. Dogs tend to swallow salt water excessively, and they get dehydrated faster than us.
- If you’re going camping, make sure there are enough blankets to keep both you and your dog warm. Avoid places where wild animals are commonly seen.
If you haven’t traveled with your dog yet, now is the time to make plans. Traveling with your dog is the perfect way to create lasting memories. Make it a point to travel with your dog at least once a year.
Everyone can make time for a quick getaway. When traveling with your dog, keep in mind that safety is the top priority and that being well-prepared is the key to being safe.