It is the season of summer road trips. If you’re thinking you’d like to #GrabTheLeash and hit Route 66 or whatever beautiful stretch of asphalt near you with your fur buddy, check out these tips to make sure you both get the most out of the experience.
Plan your route, and your stops
We love spontaneity, but a successful road trip with your dog requires some planning. Discover a route that will be interesting for you, but also accommodate the needs of your dog. It’s also wise to discover a route with pet-friendly hotels along the way for your overnights, and to book them in advance to ensure you have a place to sleep.
A lot of dogs get worked up being in the car – whether nerves or excitement. Stopping frequently gets you both out, and doing a short runaround helps prepare you both for getting back into the car for another stretch. Not only will these stops help you explore the sites along your route, they’re a good opportunity to give your dog a bathroom break.
What to Bring: poop bags
Everybody poops. Considering your dog will be going “out” in a lot of public places along the way, cleaning up afterward is the right thing to do. Bags won’t just keep it off your hands, they’ll contain the odor (and matter) in the public garbage cans.
What to Bring: food and water bowls (and, of course, food and water)
Makes sense – your dog still needs to eat and drink. Keep your eyes peeled for car sickness, and if you notice signs it makes sense to give some space between car time and meal time. It’s also a good idea to offer your dog a little drink at each stop – your car’s air conditioner really dries out the air, and it’s hot out.
What to Bring: a crate if your dog’s crate trained
Not only do crate-trained dogs sometimes feel safe in their crates, keeping yours in the crate while your driving is an issue of safety. The crate will keep him from exploring the car when he gets bored, and in the unfortunate event of an accident it could help provide some extra protection.
What to Bring: a favorite blanket or bed
Your dog’s favorite bed indicates to him not only where he can sleep, but that it is time to relax. The familiar smell and feel will also be a comfort both in the car and when you stop for the night.
What to Bring: something to keep them busy
Dogs are like toddlers – they get bored easily and they run out of patience. They won’t enjoy the scenery out the window like you will, so bring something for them to do during the stretches on the road.
With a little planning and the right supplies, your summer road trip with your dog can be an affair to remember. Now #GrabTheLeash, top off the tank and hit the road!