How to keep your dog happy and safe on long road trips

Whether you have a big dog or a small dog, your fluffy, cold-nosed friend can get sick, stressed, uncomfortable, or even lost while traveling on long road trips. How do you plan, prepare, and execute a long road trip with a dog? Well there is no visitors guide to tell you exactly what hotels to choose or give you tips on how to keep your dog happy, but these tips can serve as a guide for how you can keep your dog safe and happy while you are on the road:

Get them comfortable by practicing. Your pets have probably already encountered road trips before. However, those road trips probably trigger some bad memories that include images of the scary vet with cold hands and shots, or rides in which they were so scared they became sick. Because of these memories you dog will, like many dogs, not like your vehicle and you may have a really hard time just getting them to the car door. You need to make them comfortable by doing practice road trips. First, start by getting them to the car. This could take a while so be sure to use plenty of praise and treats when they make a step in the right direction. Once they are comfortable being inside the car, drive around a little maybe go the park and then let them explore. Make your dog associate the car with good things instead of bad things.

Plan ahead. If you are planning a really long road trip with your dog it is a good idea to plan ahead because there are many hotels that do not allow pets.

Bring collars, leashes, and chips. Many people suggest microchipping your pets before a trip and keeping your contact information up to date just in case your fluffy friend goes missing. Also be sure to bring leashes for bathroom and walk breaks.

Have some “just in case” cleaning supplies. No matter how comfortable your dog is with the car there is always the possibility of an accident. Be sure to have some “just in case” cleaning supplies so that your dog does not have to sit in his mess and so that you do not have to smell it.

Keep them safe. Some people may think it is cruel to crate their dog while on a really long trip, but this is probably the safest way for them to travel. Keeping the crated will keep them from distracting drivers and it will keep them safe in case of an accident.

Limit amount of food: Feed your dog a little breakfast before the trip then I would be very careful about giving them food while on the road. Many dogs may throw up or have stress induced diarrhea so it is a good idea to be sparing with food.

Provide plenty of breaks. Be sure to make plenty of stops so your dog can go to the bathroom, walk around and even explore a little. Make the trip fun for them too.

Madison Hewerdine is an author who likes to write a visitors guide for road trips and has a passion for warm weather.