Tips to Travel with Your Dog in the Car for an Extended Trip
How to make car travel with your dog safe and pleasant…
When you pack up your dog for a trip to grandma’s house with him or her in the car, a well-behaved dog is necessary to make your trip together pleasant! Here are a few packing tips, car travel accessories and visitor necessities that give you, your dog and your host a positive experience.
Tips for travel preparation
- Pack your pooch’s medicines, food and snacks in a secure container.
- To give your pup a sense of home, their own bed is great for them to ride upon in the back seat, or the cargo space of your SUV.
- Take their own bowl for water and food, just be sure to have the water bowl in the car, and keep a little water in it within your pup’s reach.
- Of course, your dog is microchipped, but add proper ID tags and licenses to their collar D-ring.
- Have a few snacks handy for treats along the way, since it is best not to feed your tail wagger a full meal right before they load up for travel.
- Make regular stops for a walk around so your fur buddy can have a potty break and carry disposable bags for waste pickup.
Accessories for dogs travelling by car
If your dog is small (under 12 lbs.) then a dog carrier is a great way to tuck your pup in, with their blanket and fasten the carrier to a seat belt. Be sure to use the interior tether so your little fur baby cannot wander around. Larger dogs can be placed in a crate with their bed in the bottom. Or, you can use a seatbelt loop and tether to keep your large dog from roaming around the car. A curious ear flopper that wants to hop through the console to get in the front, is a real danger to your driving ability!
Special seat covers for dogs are very nice for travel with a larger dog, because they can sprawl out in a back seat of a sedan and you have the bonus of curbing pet hair on your upholstery. Travel bowls are super handy, because they can be kept in their travel pouch and open with treats and a little water. Warning, your dog will not let you know they are thirsty, so having that water bowl with a little water in it at all times, will assure they do not get dehydrated!
Bring familiar toys, plush or chewy, so your four-pawed partner can feel right at home, both in the car, as well as at your destination.
On the road, we have found that major highway rest stops are great, not just for humans, but also for canine companions. Because there are usually dog walk areas, with plentiful trash disposal cans.
How to keep your host and your
Your grandma or host with whom you are staying, will appreciate your thoughtfulness in bringing along everything your fur family member needs for their stay. Make your doggie’s carrier or bed, their go-to space at your host’s location, (preferably near where you will be sleeping.) Layout your pup’s carrier, bed or crate in that location, an place a toy and snack bone on it, to train them to that spot.
If your dog is a puppy or slower mature dog, a pet stroller is helpful to place them in a secure surrounding. Strollers for dogs are portable and collapsible. So, when you take off or fold up the base with the wheels, you have a bed with sides to let your little new pup or old dog lie down. Plus, a stroller is handy for walks with your friends, and for taking your dog out for breaks.
When you are out and about with your pooch, keep them leashed always. Have a backup leash and collar, plus a harness when you travel, so your barky buddy does not take off after a squirrel or other new distraction! Also, stay aware of your puppy-love’s whereabouts in your host’s home, so they will not be tempted to race out of a door anytime it is opened.
We all adore having our beloved pups of all sizes with us, especially during the holidays. A dog is like a toddler…curious, friendly and full of energy. Therefore, keeping a close eye on your doggie while travelling by car and visiting family or friends, is your primary concern during the trip. Happy travel and holiday greetings!
- Margaret Mobly