It wouldn’t be a family road trip without your dog. Before you pack up and hit the road, consider these tips to help make the trip more enjoyable for your four-legged friend:
Give Your Dog Something to Chew
Traveling to new places and experiencing new things out on the road can lead to anxiety. Gnawing and chewing can help a stressed-out dog relax and helps to relieve anxiety. Chewing can also keep high-energy dogs calm and quiet while you’re busy navigating the roads. Bring along your dog’s favorite chew toys such as bones and hard rubber Kong toys to ensure that your pet is calm and relaxed during the car ride. Kong toys can be stuffed with pet food, peanut butter or soft cheese and will keep your pets entertained for hours on the road.
Make Frequent Stops
Pulling to the side of the road or making a pit stop at a rest area allows for your dog to stretch his legs and take a quick potty break. Once on the road, some pet owners may find that their dog has trouble relieving himself in an area that’s not as familiar as his backyard. Before your road trip work with a professional dog trainer or teach your pet how to go on command at home. When he’s about to relieve himself use a command like “hurry up.” As he finishes praise him and give him a treat. ASPCA suggests repeating these two steps for a few weeks. Once he’s learned to potty on cue you’re ready to hit the road.
Be prepared to clean up your pet’s messes by bringing decomposable potty bags and pet wipes on the trip.
It’s important to make time for stops that involve playtime if you’re planning to do a lot of driving during the day. If your pet has been cooped up in the vehicle all day he’s going to have a lot of energy once you arrive to your hotel, campsite or final destination. Take some time to play fetch in a local dog park or go for a jog with your dog.
Create a Safe and Smooth Ride
Take precautions such as checking the oil, servicing the vehicle and rotating or changing the tires before you head out on your trip. BF Goodrich Touring Tires offer superior handling and a quiet ride. The tires help to minimize road noise, which can help put your dog at ease while riding inside of the car.
Create a safe environment inside the car by using a pet carrier or a mesh pet gate. A mesh gate will keep your dog safe and comfortable in the back seat and will allow the driver to navigate the road without distraction. Gates are a great option for pet owners with rowdy dogs. Compact soft-sided carries are great for small breeds and carriers made from hard plastic are best for large breeds and pet owners who drive SUVs or trucks. Other items like pet harness seatbelts can come in handy during your road trip. Click It, an award-winning three-point pet safety harness, helps to absorb force in quick, unexpected stops or accidents. The Click It comes in three colors, orange, red and black, and is available for small and large breeds. Remember, your pets should always ride in the backseat of the car.
Want more tips? Check out these car travel tips from Labrador Training HQ.