Road trips can be so much fun, especially when the entire family has come along, including your furry friend. However, if they aren’t used to riding in the car before for long periods, you may want to consider getting them an essential item that will make the journey comfortable. This can range from putting them in a crate that they’re used to already or fitting a back seat hammock if you have the space in the car.
Alongside this, there are precautions you can take to ensure your pup has a smooth journey. We’ve put together all the top tips you can follow for being on the road with your dog, as well as the best items for you to invest in to ensure they are happy and comfortable. After following our mini guide, you’ll feel prepped entirely to start up the car and have the road trip you’ve always dreamt of without leaving your furry friend behind.
Planning the trip for your dog
Start with small journeys
Your dog may get motion sickness, so you aren’t going to want to start with an extremely long journey, starting with short distances and building your way up to road trips that last days, it gives your dog time to adjust and get used to the idea of traveling and being in the car.
Don’t feed them while traveling
It’s recommended to feed your dog at least three hours before your trip. This prevents them from needing to go to the toilet desperately and making a mess in the car. Similarly, if you give them a treat while traveling, they risk choking, so it’s best to avoid that.
Schedule enough stops
Let your dog let out some energy, stretch its legs, and go to the toilet as much as possible. They can get bored if they are kept still for too long, so this is the best way to ensure they behave and are as comfortable as possible.
Always have the AC on
You’ve probably heard of the horror stories of dogs being kept in hot cars. It can get too much for your furry friend, even on the move, so you want to ensure it’s always well ventilated so they don’t overheat.
Don’t let them hang out the window
Although you may have seen movies with dogs hanging their heads out the window, it’s not good for their eyes. It can dry them out and also exposes them to flying debris which could harm or injure them.
The best dog items for journeys
Dog harness seat belt
If you’re lucky enough to have a well-behaved dog, then a dog harness seat belt is ideal for travel. You slide the car’s seat belt through the dog seat-belt loop and buckle the dog in. Then place your furry friend on the car seat and connect the harness.
A crate is great, especially if your dog is used to being in one when at home. Just ensure it’s the right size for both your dog and vehicle, then place it in the back. If you cover it up with a blanket during travel, it can help your dog relax too.
Back seat hammock
If you have an older dog you want to take on your travels, this item prevents them from falling off the seats and allows them to lie down in comfort. It’s super easy to set up by simply laying the quilted side on the back seat and inserting the anchors between the back and base of the seat.
This item is best for active dogs who may find it difficult to settle down. It restrains them while also allowing them to move around, ensuring they have an enjoyable journey with you. All you have to do is hook it to the rear passenger seat belt, tug it to see if it is secure, and remove all slack from the zipline once the seat belts are locked.
Traveling is a pastime for everyone to enjoy, and now your dog can join in too. There’s nothing worse than having to leave your furry friend at home with a babysitter when you get to enjoy a road trip. You now have everything you need for the smoothest journey possible, and you may find it hard to even get your dog out of the car once they’ve gotten so comfortable.