As a pet owner, when it’s time to travel, you have an important choice. You can board your dog or pay someone to pet-sit in your home, both of which cost money and have you missing your favorite family member. But another, growing trend, has emerged over the past decade. An ever-increasing percentage of pet owners now choose to take Fido on the road with them.
If you’ve already joined these pet-toting travelers, you probably already know that taking a dog on the road has a few challenges. But with a little careful preparation, you can make your trip one that’s enjoyable for both you and your pup.
Your first step should be making sure your car is pet friendly. If you’ve traveled with your pet before, even on short trips to the vet and groomer, you may already have a system. But comfort is more important on long road trips. You’ve probably heard that crates are the safest transport option, especially those that have been crash-tested. There are also seatbelts and harnesses that will hold your dog in place if you don’t have room for a crate.
Safety and comfort should be your guiding principles. Years ago when I started DGS Pet Products those where my most important considerations when devising convenient solutions for pet parents. It wasn’t enough to make cleaning up easy if it wasn’t safe and comfortable for our pets. Road trips can be messy (for humans and pet alike) so make sure that clean up is quick and easy. Nothing can spoil a trip like worrying about cleaning your vehicle’s interior before the first rest stop.
Just as you pack items to get you through a trip, you should also pack for your pup. You’ll need plenty of food and a supply of treats to cover the time you’ll be away. Bring your pet’s food and water bowl, as well as bottles of water if you won’t have access to it where you’re going. You may also want to make sure you’ll have a way to thoroughly clean your bowls every day.
As you’re planning your trip, map things out for your furry family member, as well. This means not only lining up accommodations when you arrive, but also planning stops along the way. You won’t be able to leave your pet in the car while you eat, so decide how you’ll handle meals. Also keep in mind that dogs need to get out and walk at least once every few hours. Make sure you have a bowl and some water accessible so your pet can hydrate during those stops.
Adding a new dog to your household? Check out our new puppy checklist for a handy list of items you’ll need to buy as you welcome a furry friend to your household. This list will ensure you set up a routine that you’ll be able to follow whether you’re at home or on the road.