Family vacations don’t have to mean a pet-sitter or a kennel for your pooch – why not bring him along for the ride? Road trips are a fun getaway for a long weekend, and we’ve even thought up some great destinations for the whole family here. But before you hit the road, here are a few things to do to get your pooch ready for the trip:
Get in touch with your vet. Now is the time to make sure your pup is up-to-date on all of his vaccinations. Going to new environments could expose him to more risk factors, such as ticks or other new pests. Be sure to let your vet know exactly where you’re headed in case she has any specific health tips.
Make sure your pup is acclimated to the new environment. Ease your pooch up to a longer distance in the car by taking him out on some progressively longer drives before your actual trip. This is the best way to see how his temperament might change, which should help you avoid any major mishaps in transit. Also, consider accommodations for any new noises that might become frightening for your pup on the trip, like fireworks or storms.
Consider using a crate for your pooch in the car. Though we all know your dog loves sticking his head out the window, you’ll want to protect him just like you would protect the rest of your family. Using a crate is the safest way to transport your pup and it provides a calm, comfortable space for him to snooze at your dog-friendly accommodations.
Finally, don’t forget to plan rest stops.
Stopping every 4 hours for about 20-30 minutes is a good rule of thumb for your dog to stretch his legs and relieve himself, but feel free to do more frequent and shorter stops if you are able. It often helps to plan out your route first to see where the best rest areas are along the way and plan accordingly. Also, be open to taking a new driving route if it offers more opportunities for your pup to stop and rest.
What are your best dog-friendly travel tips? Send us an email or a tweet to let us know!