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Preparing your dog for a long road trip

Preparing your dog for a long road trip

Preparing your dog for a long road trip.

Preparing your dog for a long road trip

Taking your dog with you on a road trip sounds like a blast, but it does take some preparation in order to be successful. In this blog post, we will go over the steps for preparing your dog for a long road trip. Using a checklist will make your trip goes smoother – and ultimately will be more fun for both you and your furry companion.

Visit your dog’s vet

Bring your dog to their veterinarian for a health checkup and assessment to prepare them for the road trip. If your dog has just recovered from an illness, they might need certain medications or de-stressing toys when travelling. Your vet can also prescribe medication if your dog gets car sick. While it can be easy to skip a trip to the vet, there is nothing worse than having a medical problem while you’re on the road!

Do test runs beforehand

Get your dog used to car travel with a few trips. Start with short distances, see how your dog does and gradually increase the length of the trips. This way, you can better monitor your dog and spot potential issues. For example, does your dog get carsick fast? Is your dog anxious? How soon before he needs to relieve himself? Does he have a tendency to try to jump into the front seat? Knowing all of this will help you prepare better for longer road trips and make it less stressful for both parties.

Don’t forget dog essentials

Carry all of your dog’s essentials such as a dog bowl, food, water, leash, car-sickness bags, treats, medication, blankets, toys and most importantly a collar with a name tag. If you’re camping, be sure to carry a dog bed and a crate that’s large enough. If it’s just you and your dog on the road, consider getting a seat belt harness just in case of an accident. Having all of their day-to-day essentials will help them relax, ultimately preparing your dog for a long road trip.

Apart from the regular checks that you do for every road trip, you might want to make adjustments to your car to make it dog-friendly. Install sunshades if it’s summer and open the windows to ensure cool air flow. You can get a slipcover for the seats to protect them from fur and scratches.

Feed your dogs before the road trip

Make sure the dog is fed at least four hours before travelling, but avoid giving your dog a heavy meal. Prepare your dog for the road trip by taking him on a walk just before you get in the car. This will allow your dog to stretch their legs, relieve themselves and make your dog more relaxed overall during the journey.

Keep your dog calm

You might like to listen to Metallica on the road but that doesn’t mean your dog will dig it. Keep your dog calm by playing soothing music or by giving them a chew toy to work on during the drive. If you have a passenger, ask him or her to give your dog some love by gently patting your dog as often as possible. Also, try to maintain an even speed through the trip as dogs are prone to motion sickness and can be disturbed by high speed and sudden jerks.

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Plan regular pit stops

Plan your route and stop well in advance to minimize confusion on the road. If it’s a long trip, look up pet-friendly hotels or favourable spots such as a large park or trail. In case you’re sleeping in the car, look up safe spots to spend the night. It might also be helpful to make a list of animal clinics along the route. This will help you when preparing your dog for a long road trip, in case something unexpected happens.

Remember to stop every two to three hours and let your dog out to relieve himself and give him water. When you stop for mealtimes, feed your dog healthy but light meals and allow some digestion time before starting on the road. Always keep your dog on leash if you’re stopping on highways and never leave your dog alone in the car for extended periods of time.

Final thoughts

You want this trip to be as fun for your dog as it is for you. Remember, you can’t be as flexible with your dog companion as you can be with a human one. There is so much you can see and do together and it can bring you close together. In addition, travelling with your dog create wonderful memories that last a lifetime. Remember, always take tons of photos!

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