As any experienced dog parent would know, preparation is key to a successful road trip with your pooch. For dog parents that are new to the road-tripping game, check out our top tips for traveling with dogs in the car long distance below.
1. Health and safety first
For their safety and yours, invest in a dog-specific car restraint when traveling with your pooch. Not only does it protect them in the event of an accident, but it also stops them from distracting the driver.
Similarly, ensure your pup is up to date with vaccinations and preventative treatments before heading off, and consider postponing your trip if your pup has been unwell.
2. Practice makes perfect
If they’re not already, acclimatize your dog to car travel before your trip. Start with a few short car journeys and gradually increase the time spent in the car until they become more comfortable.
3. Plan your route ahead of time
When planning your route, be sure to include plenty of toilet and drink breaks for your pup at dog-friendly locations. Similarly, if you’re stopping overnight, be sure to book pet-friendly accommodation in advance to avoid disappointment.
4. Planned exercise and enrichment opportunities
Being in the car for any length of time can get boring, especially for your dog. Keep them entertained with planned exercise stops, enrichment opportunities, dog chews and fun toys along the way.
5. Make a doggy travel checklist
Make a checklist of your dog’s daily essentials so you don’t forget anything – include items such as their bed, food/treats, bowls, water, poop bags, toys, collar, leash, medications, pet first aid kit and so on.
Before you head off, ensure your pet’s microchip details and ID tags are up to date in case you get separated. Make sure you have a recent photo of them too and bring copies of relevant health records and vaccinations when traveling long-distance.
8. Finally, relax and enjoy your trip!