Summer is in full swing and it’s the perfect time to jump in the car for a good old fashioned road trip. Hitting the streets with your canine friend can be awesome! But sometimes, your dog doesn’t quite love it as much as we do. This is especially true when you’re traveling with fearful dogs. Whether you’re going on a vacation or a fun day trip, you need to know these 5 road-tested tips to make your ride as smooth as possible.
Take short trips to acclimate them to the car and also see if motion sickness is a problem. Motion sickness is a real problem for some dogs and solving it takes patience and time. Acclimate your dog by taking short trips and gradually extend the length of their trip. If your dog becomes nauseated, bring them home immediately. Contact your vet to discuss motion sickness. If your dog feels sick every car ride, they can develop a negative association, making road trips miserable.
Stay calm and be steady. While traveling away from home can be hard for any dog, it is especially true for fearful dogs. New situations like driving or an unfamiliar hotel can certainly cause excess anxiety for an already fearful dog. Keeping a cool head and calm disposition will go a long way in easing your dog’s anxiety. This means no yelling at traffic or fussing about rates. It’s supposed to be a fun trip anyway, right?
Keep things interesting with toys and treats. We all get bored on long trips, so pack a few toys like the Kong Treat Toy or a treat puzzle to keep pups occupied. This will ease their mind from stress while giving them a positive association with the car.
Make safety a priority. Just like you or your kids, your dog needs a safe place to ride. If your dog is comfortable in a crate, secure it to your seat or back of the car. You can also invest a dog car seat that will ensure your pup’s safety while staying close to his people. A fearful dog might panic or bolt, which is when a crate or seat belt comes in handy.
Take rest stops every few hours. Planning rest stops for potty breaks, short walks and hydration is also an important part of a successful road trip. Exercise helps lessen your dog’s stress and staying hydrated in summer is key. Take a break at a nifty truck stop and enjoy a little leg stretching. Getting to explore a new pit stop may also motivate your dog to go on future trips.
Traveling with your family can be the best and including your four-legged family member makes it complete. Even if your dog is a little anxious, you can have a successful trip if you plan well. So hit the road and have a blast!