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  • Writer's pictureCattle Dogs And Company

Travel with Dogs - Road Trip Tips

Road trips might just be my favourite way to travel. And it just so happens it a great way to travel with dogs. However, packing the dogs up in the car and heading off requires a bit of thought and preparation so that everyone has a comfortable and successful trip.

Plan Your Route

When choosing the route to your destination, plan stops for your dog to have a break from the car, stretch their legs and sniff. Parks, hiking trails and green spaces make great stopping places. A quick Google search can give you directions to parks and trails in the area you plan to stop, Rest stops are also a great time to have a water break, to ensure your dog is drinking enough on long days of driving.

Always remember to clean up after your dog and dispose of the bag.

Pack Extra

Extra dog food, extra treats, extra water. Pack more than you think you will need for the duration of your road trip. If your trip gets delayed you will have extra meals and won't have to worry about finding a store to pick up more. Generally, we pack an extra day or two worth of meals. Don't forget any supplements or medications your dog takes as well. Daily medication containers that people use to organizer their medications are a great way to pack and travel with your dog's supplements and medications.

Make sure you also take extra treats and water. Some places you stop for breaks may not have a drinkable water source. Bring some from home. On that note, pack some for yourself too. We all need to drink more water.

Other things to make sure you have extra of are dog waste bags (no explanation needed) as well as extra dog gear. It's a good idea to carry an extra collar and leash in case of a gear malfunction. Also comes in handy if you come across a stray dog.

Safe Driving

How your dog rides in the car can affect their safety and yours. A crash tested crate is considered to be gold standard for safety of the dog in the event of a car accident. However, these can be expensive. A good quality, durable crate is an alternative. While not necessarily crash tested, it will still limit your dog from becoming a projectile during an accident.

Crate travel may not be feasible for everyone based on the vehicle size and size of crate needed, if multiple crates are needed and depending on how many human passengers and gear are on board. Other alternatives include dog seatbelts and partitions to ensure the dog can't roam over the entire vehicle. When using seatbelts to restrain your dog, ensure the seatbelt is attached to a harness, not to a collar.

Temperature Control

Always consider the temperature of your car. A lot of us do more road trips in the warmer months. This may mean it is not safe for you to leave your dog in the vehicle while you make a stop. However, it is still feasible to bring your dog, you will just have to account for this in your plans. Many restaurants, coffee shops and wineries have dog friendly patios. There are even stores that are dog friendly, and usually have this noted in their policies on their website.

If your dog is riding in the back ensure there is enough airflow. Even with air conditioner running, the temperature at the back may be very different than what you feel at the front. The cargo area of many cars have less airflow and may be warmer than the rest of the vehicle.

What are some of your road trip tips- with or without dogs? Let us know in the comments!


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