Cross-country summer road trips are exciting adventures that both you and your dog can enjoy. From site seeing popular attractions, to discovering new terrain—your dog will certainly enjoy tagging along as your mark your map with all the exciting places you’ve always wanted to explore. Here are some of our best travel safety tips on how to plan a cross-country summer road trip when your dog is coming along.
- Schedule a Wellness Visit With Your Vet
One of the first things to do prior to embarking on your trip is to schedule a wellness check-up with your veterinarian. Taking your pup to the vet is a great way to make sure they are up-to-date on all of their vaccinations and it also presents an opportunity for you to discuss with your vet any health concerns you may have for your pet prior to such a long drive. For instance, you may want to ask your vet for the best treatments for nausea (yes, dogs can get car sickness too!) and similarly you may also stock up on any daily medications they may be taking.
- Carefully Map Your Trip
It is also important to map out your trip and make note of pet-friendly accommodations along the way. For instance, locate hotels, rest stops and camp grounds that specifically welcome pets. This will give you peace of mind in knowing you won’t be asked to leave because your dog is in tow. The same holds true for finding pet stores to restock on supplies, emergency veterinarians and even pet sitters in case something were to happen to you. Conducting prior research will ensure you have a list of reinforcements should you need them.
- Pack For Your Pet
When you pack your bags don’t forget to pack your dog’s own luggage as well. This will include packing all of their essentials such as food, treats, food and water bowls, their bed, and favorite toys. It will also be important to pack for the weather, ensuring they are protected from the elements. Raincoats, sweaters and blankets may all come in handy during inclement weather or sudden drops in temperature. You may also want to pack additional water and keep it nearby to quench your dog’s thirst on particularly hot days. Also pack them their own first aid kit in the event of minor injuries. Here are some great travel items to help keep your dog hydrated and happy!
- Create Your Dog’s Own Space
Be sure to create your dog’s own separate space in the vehicle. This could include giving them the entire backseat, tethering your pet to their own seat or simply crating them if you are worried about them wandering around the vehicle while you are driving. You may also want to consider purchasing a divider to place between the front and back seats so that your pet does not distract you, such as jumping in your suddenly lap while you’re traveling. Such precautions will ensure not only their safety but yours as well and decrease the likelihood of an unexpected accident.
- Safeguard Against Dangerous Plants & Wildlife
When exploring new territory, it is important to also think about the dangers that nature can pose to your pet. This includes both plants and wildlife. Prior to your trip conduct research on some of the native plant life that grows in the states you’ll be traveling through so that you can be on the lookout for them. There are many dangerous, toxic plants that are poisonous to dogs if ingested. Many others can cause skin or eye irritations. Furthermore, depending upon your destination, wildlife including hawks, mountain lions, bears and snakes all pose physical dangers to your pet. Always be sure to keep your dog close by to ward off attacks from wild animals.
- Never Leave Your Dog Alone
While there may be times where you need to leave your vehicle for a few moments including gassing up, stopping at a restroom or taking a food break, take extra safety when doing so. For instance, never leave your pet alone in a running vehicle. This will ensure that you do not accidentally lock your keys in the car and that you do not invite your vehicle to theft. Also, never leave your pet alone in a vehicle during extreme weather—hot or cold and also be sure to have plenty of water and food visible just in case a concerned passerby comes along and assumes your pet has been abandoned.
- Reward Your Pet
Lastly, do not forget to reward your pet for a job well done. If your dog follows your commands and behaves like the good dog that they are, give them a few of their favorite treats and some encouraging words to reinforce their good behaviors. Your dog will surely appreciate all the love that you show them and will enjoy the cross-country trip even more because they are alongside their beloved owner.
So when planning a cross-country road trip keep any of these important tips in mind to create an amazing experience of a lifetime for both you and your beloved pooch to share! Plus, don’t forget to check out this awesome travel tumbler, perfect for hitting the road with Dog!
Written by Emily Ridgewell