If you’ve dreamed of taking Fido on a vacation across the state line, you’ll need to ensure you plan ahead. After all, a dog has needs just like people do, and these needs are different and require you to plan. And the last thing you want is for your dog to be a road trip blunder. Plus, depending on the age and behavior of your dog, there are certain things you’ll need to take into consideration. If you are considering taking your dog on a road trip, here are four things you’ll want to consider ahead of time.
Some dogs are great with travel while others are not. It’s important for you to understand the behavior of your dog before you decide to take a road trip. For instance, if your dog doesn’t do well with change or suffers from motion sickness, you’ll need to account for this ahead of time. Talking to your vet for prescriptions or even checking out dog CBD oil can help reduce anxiety in your pooch and make the trip better.
If your dog has other behavioral issues, you’ll need to account for these as well. For instance, maybe using a crate or dog harness would be beneficial to keep your pooch more comfortable during the trip. The more you can do to accommodate your dog, the better the overall trip will be for everyone inside the vehicle.
2. “Me” Time
Yes, you love your dog—after all, that’s why you’re taking it on a road trip with you. But consider that there will likely be activities that you want to do that require your dog to be out of your care for a couple of hours. Perhaps you want to go skydiving or check out a five-star restaurant—the point is, your dog won’t always be able to tag along.
For example, let’s say you’re in Texas and want to check out the renowned Space Center (where only service dogs are permitted); instead of compromising a great experience, why not look into dog boarding in Houston? If there are no dog boarding options in your area, consider looking into dog walking apps to connect with individuals who can keep your canines busy for a short period.
The age of your dog will also play an important role in the overall logistics of your trip. Younger puppies and older dogs may need to go to the bathroom more often, requiring you to take more stops along the way. Older dogs may also need medication or be on a special diet, which will require you to have this on hand and readily available. Young puppies may also have more energy that could become distracting in a vehicle, so you’ll need to ensure you stop often enough to let them run around and wear off some of that excess energy. Just be sure to keep your dog’s age in mind when scheduling your trip to account for what that age may entail.
The longevity of your trip will also play a role in how your dog handles the road. For instance, if you are going somewhere that will require days in the car, you’ll need to consider how your dog will handle this. If you have yet to travel with your dog, it may be a good idea for you to take a shorter trip first and see how they handle it. If you notice big issues with a smaller trip, you can then account for these issues when scheduling a longer trip.
In addition, the destination will also play an important factor. Will you be taking your dog somewhere that will involve new experiences or pose new potential threats? For instance, if you’re taking your beach dog to the woods for a camping trip, you’ll need to ensure your dog is up to date on vaccines to prevent against Lyme disease and fleas and ticks. On the flip side, if you’re taking your rural dog to a well populated area, you’ll need to ensure he or she can handle walking on a leash and won’t become overwhelmed in a crowd. The more you can do to ensure your dog is happy and safe will result in a better overall vacation for your entire family.
Finally, the last thing you need to consider is your itinerary for the trip. For instance, if you’re headed somewhere that will require your dog to be locked up inside a hotel room for most of the trip, then why are you bringing your dog? Only plan a trip with your dog if you can do things with your dog while you’re there. Be sure to check if the area is dog friendly and find things you can do together. While you may think it’s better to have your dog with you instead of boarded or with friends, the dog won’t be happy being locked up in a place they’re not familiar with.
Taking a trip with your dog can be fun and allow you to explore new places. However, you can’t just put Fido in the car and expect the trip to be magical. Before you schedule your next vacation that includes your pooch, be sure to consider all of these things thoroughly.