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Road Trip! How to Prep For Long Car Rides With Your Dog

Road Trip! How to Prep For Long Car Rides With Your Dog

What's better than a Springtime road trip?!
Traveling with your dog can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but it can also be a bit challenging and stressful if you're not prepared. With some careful planning and a few easy steps, you can have a successful road trip that you and your furry companion will remember for years to come. Here are some tips to help you make the most out of your trip!

1. Get your dog accustomed to the car if they aren't already. Before you hit the road, take your dog on short car rides to get them used to the experience. Gradually increase the length of the trips, and make sure to reward them with treats and praise for good behavior. 

2. Make sure your dog is safe and comfortable in the car. Your dog should be restrained with a seat belt or harness to keep them from moving around the car.If using a dog car seat, let them get accustomed to it indoors first. Let them smell, investigate and reward them for sitting calmly inside. They may even want to give it a trial run and take a nap in it first! Check out dog car seat options that utilize a raised bed so your pooch can watch the world through the window along the way - this will help to keep them entertained on long rides!

3. Make sure your dog has regular access to water and is comfortable in their designated spot in the car. (Shop our portable water bowls here!) Bring their favorite blanket or bed to make them feel more at home. Remember to pack a few toys so they have something to focus on while on the road. Big chews or a peanut butter stuffed toy can go a long way.

4. Burn off energy before you start. In order to ensure a relaxing ride, its a good idea to give your dog plenty of exercise before taking off. A run, long walk or some time at the dog park will help keep your dog calm cool and collected on your trip.

5. Plan ahead for pit stops. Just like humans, dogs need to stretch their legs and take bathroom/water breaks on long car rides. Plan ahead for rest stops and make sure to bring plenty of waste bags to clean up after your dog. 

6. Pack for your dog's needs. Bring enough food, treats, and medication for your dog's entire trip. Best to be over-prepared so you don't risk having to feed them food they are not used to. There's nothing worse than an upset belly on a road trip. Don't forget grooming tools too! If your dog is prone to motion sickness, talk to your vet about medication options.

7. Book a check up with your dog's veterinarian to get them up-to-date on their vaccinations. Carry copies of their medical records (there are apps for this!), especially when you are crossing state borders. It's best to be prepared in case you run into an emergency while on the road. 

8. Never leave your dog unattended in the car. Temperatures inside vehicles rise to dangerous levels incredibly quickly (even with the windows cracked!) Use the AC when driving in warm weather to keep them from overheating.

9. Research pet-friendly stops along the way. If you're planning on stopping at restaurants or attractions along the way, make sure they're pet-friendly! Look up dog parks and hiking trails in the area to give your dog a chance to stretch their legs and burn off some energy.

10. Make sure your dog has proper identification with your contact information. Consider getting your dog microchipped before the trip.

11. Be mindful of your dog's comfort level. Some dogs may not enjoy car rides, so its a good idea to access their body language and behavior in the car before beginning a long trip. If your dog is showing signs of stress or discomfort, take a break and give them some time to relax. Talk to your vet about calming options if you have an extra anxious pup. Special treats containing natural ingredients like CBD or chamomile can have a calming effect.

Now you're ready to hit the road together! With a little planning and a lot of love, you are sure to have a blast on your adventures together. Don't forget to tag us in your photos along the way! @wagwear
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