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7 tips for a road trip with your dog

Traveling with your four-legged friends has never been more popular. They are part of your family after all, and besides wanting them to continue to be your company and share your adventures with them, dog sitting also costs a lot. Being with a stranger can also be stressful for certain dogs.

Really, we don’t have to tell you why you should bring your dogs. If you’re reading this, you already know why! Here Automatic log, most of our editors have dogs, and we travel with them often. Some big, some small, one really small. In fact, the pictures you see are of my very own dogs, Maggie and Nellie, for many road trip adventures over the years.

With a little help with reporting from Related pressWe’ve put together this list of tips to prevent tripping with your dog, including tips and advice we’ve gathered over the years. Especially tips on where to stay, recommended research, and gear recommendations.

In the end, having your dog tripped can be a challenge. I drove from Los Angeles to Toronto and back with those two girls up there, in the middle of winter no less, and I know the headaches firsthand. Hopefully these tips can help alleviate some of them for you.

1. Teach them to love cars

Before a long trip, give your dog a positive association with the car.

“Practice makes better,” says Erdem Tuncsiper, who runs the PACK Leadership Dog Training Program in Chicago. “Don’t make your big trip their first.”

Take them away as many times as you can, and give them treats and toys to make the car fun. Take them to interesting locations so they don’t see the car as a mobile device that delivers direct to the vet.

If a dog shows apprehension, pet parents “can encourage further interaction with the vehicle by rewarding all interactions directed at the vehicle – such as looking, sniffing, moving.” toward or in — and continue your baby steps from there,” says Darris Cooper, national dog training director at Petco.

Bring items like bowls and blankets that your dog is not only used to but is comfortable with, says Tuncsiper.

“This includes anything to sleep, eat or drink,” he said.

2. Keep your dog as comfortable as possible

“Make sure your dog is not stressed by the sight, sound or movement of vehicles,” says Dr. Natalie Marks, veterinarian at VCA Blum Animal Hospital in Chicago. “There are many supplements that can help relieve stress, such as playing classical music, injecting pheromones to help you relax, … proper restraint training, favorite foods, and no small feedings. at least two hours before you start traveling to help avoid nausea. ”

Dogs are also prone to overheating, so provide good ventilation (and never leave them alone in a parked car).

“If your dog wears pants a lot, he’s hotter than you and needs air,” says Tuncsiper.

Excessive panting can also be a sign of anxiety. If your dog can’t seem to get comfortable, talk to your vet about anti-anxiety medications, as well as over-the-counter chews and drops.

In terms of physical comfort, we’ve found that bringing a dog bed in the car is a great idea for small or medium dog owners. Car seats are for people, not dogs, so a dog bed can make this more familiar and familiar to them. You can also secure them with a seat belt.

3. Expect the trip to be longer

Dogs need to stop frequently to run around, relieve themselves, and discover all the new, exciting smells.

“We have a two or three-hour drive rule,” says Christina Howitt, co-founder of Find Your Blue, a Kansas City-based travel agency that specializes in dog-friendly itineraries. My family. “We always keep in mind the extra frequent stops… We also try to avoid driving more than five or six hours in total in a day.”

4. Find dog-friendly spots ahead of time

Traveling with a dog requires more planning and less spontaneity.

“Do your research ahead of time, especially about hotels and sightseeing,” advises dog owner Leksa Pravdic, who drives with her dogs, Scout and Pluto, from their home in Chicago. New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado. “A lot of national parks don’t allow dogs or restrict their access to certain small areas. Look for national monuments or state parks that allow dogs.”

Try looking at photos of upcoming stops to see if one might have more lawns than others or even dog parks. I have also specifically searched for dog parks in towns along my route and with great success. Take it as an opportunity for your four-legged friend to meet the locals.

For hotels, be sure to review each hotel’s pet policy carefully. Many people do not allow dogs at all. Many say they are “pet-friendly” but have significant conditions. First, they often put a limit on the size or number of dogs. Second, there is almost always a pet cleaning fee, which can vary widely. If you cannot find the hotel’s pet fee on the hotel’s website (this fee is not usually included on third-party booking sites), be sure to call before booking. Some charge once per stay, others charge per dog per stay, others charge per dog per night, which really adds up.

For vacation rentals, be sure to look closely at “pet-friendly” locations (and also make sure they’re pet-friendly in the first place). Most charge extra fees and have restrictions on size, quantity, and even breed. However, these can definitely be superior as they have patios (make sure they are fully enclosed) and are generally less stressful than a hotel full of doors that open and close, people walk by. outside your room and – gasp! – other dogs. Phloem.

5. Pack your puppy’s suitcase responsibly

If you’re like most dog owners, you consider your furry friend to be part of the family. So why not make them feel extra special with 4inbandana custom dog collar? You can also find a wide variety of customized collars to make your pup feel special. From classic leather to fun patterned fabric.

Bring extra food and water for at least two days.

There is no shortage of water tanks suitable for travel. However, we found MalsiPree Dog water bottle become a game changer for road trips (pictured above). By pressing a button, you can slowly remove water as needed. This reduces the risk of water spilling out of your car and wasting the limited amount of water you have on the plane when your dog definitely doesn’t want to drink it all.

6. Safety is important

It is important to consider the safety of your pet when traveling in the car. You buckle up, you buckle up the kids, why would you want to let your dog get injured or killed in an accident? Furthermore, they can injure you like a heavy bullet in a car during an accident, and can even cause an accident in the first place if they are in the driver’s seat or distract you from a somehow. Seriously, never drive with your dog in your lap.

Therefore, consider a dog harness for the passenger compartment, a fence accessory for the cargo area, or a kennel for the cargo area. For dog harnesses, we recommend doing your research. Many people claim to be guarding a dog in the car, but are not actually certified for that task (in other words, they don’t actually do the job). Although it’s great that you will see the products advertisement that they were”crash test“It’s rare that they actually say how they did in those crash tests. Imagine if the car ads did that.

If anything, take a hard look at how those checks are conducted and whether it’s legitimate. Unfortunately, there is very little reliable third-party data like you would find for cars or child seats. Sleepypod Clickit and Zugopet The Rocketeer received approval from the Center for Pet Safety for their crash test performance a few years ago, but that’s about it for now. I bought my car harness seven years ago based on a third party test that I can no longer find on the internet (sorry) and although they do not the safest, they are more comfortable and still perform well in a crash. This lack of data may frustrate you, but don’t let that discourage you. Confining your dog is safe for them and safe for you.

7. How to clean the car after the trip

So you had a great ride with your dog… unfortunately, your dog has been in your car for a long time now. That means it can be a bit smelly (hello, Nellie, your breath!) and completely covered in dog hair (hello, Maggie, your fur!).

A simple hand vacuum cleaner The pet attachment you already have for the house may be good enough to get the job done, but most likely not. For a really thorough job, check out our video guide on How to Remove Dog Hair From Car Interiors below.

Reporting features from the Associated Press

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