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Reasons Why Bring Dogs On Road Trips: Tips & Tricks

Imagine setting off on a road trip with your windows down and your best furry friend by your side. Why leave your dog behind when they can add joy and excitement to your journey? Plus, leaving your furry friends at home can make you feel worried and make car rides less fun.

For dog owners like you, bringing your dogs to your road trips can be more fun and give you peace of mind, rather than leaving them at home.

If you're still undecided, here are a few reasons why road-tripping with your dogs can be more enjoyable for you and your beloved pets! We included tips and tricks to help you have a more enjoyable road trip with your dog.

10 Reasons to Bring Your Dog on Road Trips

Bringing your dogs to a dog park is sometimes not enough for pets to be stimulated and build a better pet-owner-dog relationship. That's why if you love going on long car rides and visiting new places and sites, why not bring your canine companions?

Corgi Wearing Pink Sunglasses In A Pink Car

Here are some reasons to consider including your dog on your next road trip:

  1. Emotional Bonding: Road trips with your dog can strengthen the bond between you and your pet. Shared experiences and adventures can deepen your connection.

  2. Reduced Stress for Both: For many dog owners, leaving their pets behind can cause worry and guilt. Having your dog with you can reduce this stress, and the presence of a pet is known to lower anxiety and promote relaxation.

  3. Physical and Mental Stimulation for Dogs: Travel exposes dogs to new environments, smells, and sounds, which is excellent for their physical and mental stimulation. It breaks the monotony of their daily routine and provides ample opportunities for exercise and exploration.

  4. Safety and Security: Dogs can offer a sense of security and protection on the road. Their heightened senses can be reassuring to travelers, especially when stopping in unfamiliar places.

  5. Pet Care Savings: Bringing your dog with you eliminates the need for pet sitters or boarding, which can be costly.

  6. Encourages Outdoor Activities: Traveling with a dog often leads to more outdoor adventures. You might find yourself exploring hiking trails, parks, and dog-friendly beaches that you wouldn't have considered otherwise. However, check with the management first, because most national parks don't allow dogs.

  7. Social Opportunities: Dogs are great icebreakers and can help you meet new people. Dog owners often find camaraderie and shared interests with other pet-friendly travelers.

  8. Improved Mental Health: The joy and unconditional love that dogs provide can be especially uplifting during travel. Their presence can improve mood and overall mental well-being. Plus, some dogs can keep you awake with their cute antics.

  9. Creating Memories: Just like any family member, dogs contribute to memorable travel experiences. You'll have stories and moments that are enriched by your dog’s reactions and antics.

  10. Teaching Responsibility: For families, having a dog along on a car ride can be a good opportunity to teach children about responsibility.

How to Prepare for Road Trips With Your Dog

Preparing for a road trip with your dog involves thoughtful planning to ensure their comfort, safety, and peace of mind. Here's a guide on how to gear up for an enjoyable and stress-free journey with your canine companion:

Three Dogs On The Car Boot

Health Check and Documentation

Schedule a visit to the vet for a general check-up to ensure your beloved dog is fit for travel.

Ensure all vaccinations are up-to-date and carry any necessary health certificate and documents, especially if you're crossing state lines or traveling to areas with specific pet health requirements. Always bring your dog's papers and documents to avoid problems during your epic road trip.

Related: Essential Vaccinations for Your New Puppy: A Complete Guide

Secure and Comfortable Restraint System

Invest in a good-quality crash-tested safety harness like GF PET Seat Belt Tether, dog sling, a secure, well-ventilated MIM Variocage Travel Dog Crate, or MIM Safe VarioGate Double for the safety of your dog during the journey. This is crucial for preventing injury in case of sudden stops and for keeping them from being a distraction while driving.

Also, these restraints will keep your dog comfortable and safe during the whole trip while they're in the back seat.

Food, Water, and Bowls

Pack enough of your dog's regular food to avoid stomach upset due to sudden dietary changes. Bring along bottles of water and collapsible or portable bowls like Petique Portabowl Water and Food Bowl for easy drinking and feeding during stops.

Brown And White French Bulldog On Orange Car Seat

You can also bring collapsible water bottles like Olly Dog Detachable Olly Bottle.

Familiar Comfort Items

To reduce anxiety and provide a sense of security, bring along your dog’s favorite toys, a comfortable dog bed like Bowsers Alpine Bed Cozy Winter White, or a blanket that smells like home. Familiar smells can have a calming effect on pets in new environments. These can also keep your dog calm during the car ride.

Leash, Collar with ID, and Waste Supplies

Ensure your dog wears a collar with an ID tag that includes your contact information. Pack a sturdy leash like Eurodog Collars Adventure Style Climbing Rope Dog Leash for walks during potty breaks and rest stops. Also, don't forget to bring waste bags for clean-up.

Emergency Kit and Information

Prepare a pet-specific first aid kit, which might include items like bandages, antiseptic wipes, and any medications your dog requires. Also, note down the contact details of emergency vets along your route and keep a recent photo of your dog with you in case they get lost.

Tips & Tricks for a Fun Road Trip With Your Dog

Embarking on a road trip with your dog can be a fantastic way to bond and explore new horizons together. Here are some dog road trip tips and tricks to ensure a smooth and joyful journey for both of you:

Two Dogs On A Pet Bed Inside The Backseat Of A Car

Planning Your Route

Before going on your trip, it's best to do your research and plan your route. Remember, your furry best friend has needs and requires frequent breaks to prevent car sickness and make your dog feel comfortable.

  • Identifying Dog-Friendly Stops and Accommodations

    • Research Ahead: Utilize websites and apps dedicated to pet-friendly travel to find hotels, campgrounds, and restaurants that welcome dogs.

    • Call Ahead: Always confirm the pet policy directly with the accommodation to ensure there are no surprises regarding pet fees or restrictions.

  • Balancing Driving Time with Breaks

    • Plan for Breaks: Schedule regular stops every 2-3 hours to let your dog stretch, relieve themselves, and expend some energy. It's also a good idea to get fresh air to avoid your dog getting car sick in the back seat. Look for pet-friendly rest areas or parks. If you're in a gas station, keep your dogs inside your vehicle at all times. Ensure your dog's paws don't come in contact with fuel and other chemicals.

    • Stay Flexible: Be willing to stop sooner if your dog seems restless or needs a bathroom break. Watching for cues from your dog can prevent discomfort and anxiety during extended periods inside the car. A few toys can keep your dog occupied but breaks and stops are good for both you and your pet to stretch.

On-the-Road Care

When you're on the road and focused on driving, it's easy to forget you're with your dog. However, it's best to be prepared for the road trip to avoid stressful situations.

Black Pug In A Red Car
  • Managing Feeding and Bathroom Breaks

    • Light Meals: Feed your dog a light meal 3-4 hours before starting your drive to minimize the risk of motion sickness. Avoid feeding in a moving vehicle. Take a break and let your dog eat, drink fresh water, stretch, and do their thing.

    • Consistent Schedule: Try to keep to your dog’s normal feeding and bathroom schedule as much as possible to maintain their comfort.

Related: Bringing Home a New Puppy: Tips and Tricks for First-Time Puppy Owners

  • Keeping Your Dog Entertained and Calm During the Trip

    • Favorite Toys: Bring along their favorite dog toys or chew items to keep them occupied during the drive.

    • Comfort Items: Include items that smell like home, such as a blanket or bed, to help soothe and relax your dog.

    • Calming Techniques: Consider using calming supplements like Nature Pet Store Be Calm or a pheromone diffuser if your dog gets anxious while traveling. Always consult with your vet first.

Making the Most Out of Your Road Trips With Your Dog

Making the most out of your road trips with your dog requires a blend of preparation, flexibility, and creativity. Here's how you can ensure both you and your furry best friend have an unforgettable journey.

  1. Explore Together: Plan activities you can enjoy with your dog, like hiking in pet-friendly parks, visiting dog beaches, or simply exploring new towns and landscapes.

  2. Capture the Moments: Bring a camera or use your smartphone to take lots of photos. Consider creating a travel diary or a social media account dedicated to your dog’s adventures.

  3. Meet New Friends: Use this opportunity to socialize your dog in new environments, people, and other dogs. Dog parks and pet-friendly locations are great for meeting fellow pet lovers.

  4. Safety First: Always ensure your dog is safely secured in the vehicle, either in travel dog crates or with a dog seat belt, and never leave them unattended in the car.

  5. Enjoy the Journey: Sometimes, the best moments come from unexpected detours. Embrace the next adventure of traveling with your dog and the unique experiences it brings.

A Bulldog In A Truck

Enjoy a Road Trip With Your Dog And Pet Essentials from Puppy Fever Pro!

If it's your first time having a long road trip with your first dog, it's best to be prepared to avoid stress and problems during the trip. To ensure these problems don't happen, you must do your research, prepare your dog, and have the best travel dog products from Puppy Fever Pro.

We have a wide variety of dog essentials you'll need in your travel like dog bowls, collars, and poop bags. For more dog owner tips and tricks, visit our blogs.

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