Summer Road Trips With Dogs

If you want to take your dog on the open road with you this summer, here's some tips to help you enjoy a smooth journey...

In this month’s Pawprintz, we’ll help you plan the perfect road trip with your puppy to ensure everyone’s happy on the road!

Don’t travel alone – if you ever need to stop and run out of the car on the road, for example to go to a gas station, having someone else in the car means someone can keep an eye out on your dog. This makes it unlikely for your dog to feel overheated since you can open a door etc.

Get your dog road ready – before you jump in the deep end for a big road trip, try some shorter trips to see if your dog gets motion sickness. If your dog shows signs of illness, it might just mean you have to take a few more short drives to get dogs used to being in a car. If not, you can contact your vet regarding motion sickness medications.

A perfect packing list – your individual list depends on your dogs needs but there are some common things all dogs need... a leash and collar with ID, a water bowl with plenty of water, a food bowl with enough food for the trip, treats, toys, doggy waste bags, blankets/beds, a soft crate or harness (important for securing your dog in the car in case you suddenly brake), any medications your dog takes and proof of vaccinations, microchip registration, pet insurance or any other necessary emergency documents you might need on the trip!

Never let your dog lean out the window – dogs love to stick their head out the window to enjoy a cool breeze and feel their ears flap in the wind but avoid having them lean out the window. Not only is it dangerous if another car drives past you and knocks into your car, but there are countless stories of dogs falling out of windows and onto motorways!

Keep an eye on the temperature – temperature control is difficult on road trips especially during summer when it’s hot and hard to know how much air is circulating. It’s important to make sure enough cool air is making it to the backseat. Check in on your dog frequently to ensure that they’re comfortable.

Be mindful of your road trip playlist – dogs have better hearing than us and that means their ears are more sensitive than ours too. This means that they might not appreciate your loud tunes as much as you do. Adjust your stereo so the sound is only in the front speakers to keep your dog from having to endure too much loud noise on the road.

Make plenty of stops – it’s easy for humans to power through long stretches of the road on road trips but dogs can quickly become dehydrated or on the opposite end of the spectrum, need a bathroom break more frequently than you. Stop at least every couple of hours to let your dog out of the car. This has an added bonus of letting you play with your dog to fend off any boredom on the road.

Taking your dog with you on your summer adventures can be extremely rewarding as some relaxation time away from home but preparation is important to keep everyone happy on long trips. If you have some more tips for road trips with your dogs, share them with us on our Facebook page!