So, it is almost time for your summer road trip! You’re planning what destinations you want to stop at, getting that Spotify playlist ready, packing accordingly, and stocking up on road trip snacks.
Of course, that might lead to the question about what to do with your furry family member while you’re off exploring. And depending on how brave you’re feeling or where you’re planning on going, you might be tempted to take your dog with you on your travels!
Dogs can be excellent companions when traveling. They give you somebody to talk to, give you a reason to make stops, and can offer some protection to you. If you’ve decided to take your pooch with you on your journey, here’s what you need to know.
Bring health-related documents
Before you go on your trip, make sure to take your dog to the vet to ensure that they are in good health and have had all the necessary shots. Taking your dog to the vet in advance of your trip can help identify any potential problems, such as an infection or a parasite, that could impact them while traveling.
You’ll also want to get copies of any health-related documents, such as proof of vaccinations. Your vet may need to put together a health certificate, depending on where you’re traveling to.
Look for pet-friendly hotels
Before you begin traveling, look for hotels that will let pets stay at no cost. Yes, they do exist, but they can be hard to find! Don’t wait until you’ve reached your destination to find somewhere to stay — that’ll only lead to frustration.
Keep in mind sometimes it depends on your dog’s size. You might have an easier time finding a hotel willing to accept a small dog breed than you will a large dog breed. If you’re struggling to find a hotel, you can also consider renting an Airbnb.
Bring the essentials
Make sure to bring all the needed essentials for your dog on the trip. You shouldn’t rely on purchasing items once you reach your destination. For example, suppose your dog only eats a certain type of food, and you reach your destination and discover that the food isn’t sold there.
Having familiar toys and blankets can also be comforting to dogs. You will also want to make sure you have their lease readily available during the car ride. You don’t want to find yourself scrambling at the last minute to locate the lease!
Look for state park and beaches
If you’re bringing your dog, make sure to schedule some dog-friendly activities! Your dog will quickly get tired of being cooped up in the car or hotel room. Most state parks and beaches are dog-friendly and can be a fun way to spend the day. Your dog might enjoy hiking along trails and spotting squirrels or frolicking in the ocean waves.
However, always double-check that dogs are welcomed in the area; never assume that all state-owned areas are pet-friendly. Most parks and beaches state on their websites whether dogs are welcomed.
Allowing your dog to exercise frequently can help make the car ride go more smoothly! Allowing your dog to get out and run around in the fresh air means they’re more likely to rest in the car.
Most test stations will have open areas where your dog can run around; just make sure to bring along a long enough lease. If there isn’t room to run, take them on a long walk instead. This might mean more frequent stops for you, but remember, you decided to bring your dog along!
Train your dog
Finally, if you’re bringing your dog on a road trip, make sure that your dog is well-trained! You’re going to want to make sure your dog follows basic commands, knows how to walk on a lease, and is socialized.
You’re going to be running into other people and animals on your travels, so you’ll want your dog to be on their best behavior. If your dog typically doesn’t listen to you or has been aggressive towards others in the past, you may want to consider obedience training before the trip or consider leaving your dog at home.
If you want to share your love of the open road with your furry friend, make sure that your dog can handle the trip! If car rides stress your dog out or your dog gets carsick, it isn’t fair for you to take them on a road trip.