Tips for road-tripping with your dog
We love exploring new places with the pups! We are lucky enough to live in LA, which is just a short drive away from so many different destinations. Mammoth Lakes, Palm Springs, San Diego, you name it.
Though we love it, traveling, just like any type of disturbance to a regular day-to-day routine, can be stressful for dogs. Today we’re sharing some of our tips for keeping your pup happy and safe on a road trip with you!
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1. Pack light, but get all the essentials
We like to keep things simple and minimal when traveling with the pups. Just enough food for the trip (frozen Stella & Chewy’s when it’s a short drive or dehydrated when it’s a longer one), a pouch full of treats for training or hikes, portable bowls, medications, and poop bags. That’s it. They hop in the car with their leashes on and we’re good to go!
2. Ensure your pup is safe and secure in the vehicle
Safety first! Our dogs ride in crates in the back of the car. You can also get harnesses that attach to seat belts for dogs. In some states, it’s illegal to allow an unrestrained dog to roam free in the vehicle. It’s really for their safety — in the case of an accident, you wouldn’t want them to go flying. Additionally, spooked dogs have been known to run away from the scene of the car accident. So keep them restrained and safe!
3. Exercise your pup before the long drive
Let them run their little hearts out and empty their insides. Tiring them out will make the ride more comfortable for both you and your pup.
4. Bring fresh water for your pup
We like to reserve one or two bottles of water just for the dogs. They have to stay hydrated! Ice cubes are also an easy way to give them small doses at a time.
5. Make sure you have the “just in case” stuff handy
This means a first-aid kit for dogs and access to medical and vaccination records. Just in case something happens. We have access to our vet records via an app, so that saves a few pages of printed paper. It’s also helpful if your dog is microchipped… again, just in case!
6. Bring their favorite blanket or bed
Where will your pup be sleeping when you’re out of town? Our dogs love sleeping in their crates at night, but we don’t bring their metal crates when we go on a trip. Bringing a blanket that smells like home or their favorite dog bed can help them adjust to staying at a hotel, friend’s house, or wherever you’re crashing for the duration of the trip.
7. Give them something to do during the ride
For long road trips, you can throw them a chew or toy to enjoy and pass the time.
8. Make sure to stop for stretch and potty breaks
Especially for Chibi, because she has a history of orthopedic issues, we were informed by her rehab vet to not allow her to lay in a car still for too long. It’s important (for both you and your dog) to stop, stretch, walk, and take a potty break every few hours!
9. Keep a towel and/or wipes in the car
This is something I do regardless of whether we’re on a road trip. There is always one dedicated “dog towel” in case we decide to take the dogs to the beach or on a muddy hike. Wipes are also handy for keeping your vehicle as clean as possible.
That’s it! Other than this, have fun and be safe as you explore the next destination with your dog.