Plenty of dog owners would prefer to take their pup with them everywhere, but is isn't always easy! If you're traveling a long distance by car and plan on taking your canine companion with you, there are certain things you should prepare first. Here, our Sacramento veterinarians discuss everything you should know before taking a road trip with your dog.
Traveling With A Dog
Planning a trip is already a lot of work, so adding a pet to the mix is only bound to make it more complicated.
When traveling with your dog there are a lot of things that you should consider! You will want to plan your route ahead of time to make sure there are enough places where you can stop to let your dog out for bathroom breaks and some air. Just like humans, some dogs can be prone to car sickness, so it is important for them to get breaks so they won't get sick while you're driving.
You will also want to create a packing list for your dog to make sure you don't forget any of the essentials that you will need while on your road trip. These are some things you want to make sure to include on your packing list.
Food & Water
Of course, before starting your trip, you'll want to make sure you have enough food and water for your dog for the longevity of it, as well as good dishes for them to eat out of. Having to stop and buy more food for your dog can add delays to your trip and there is a chance you will not be able to find your dog's preferred brand of food, if you have a pickier pup.
Bringing water is very important. Either in bottles or larger jugs/containers is the easiest way. You may want to avoid letting your dog drink from "random" or unknown water sources on your trip because it could cause an upset stomach in your dog. Water is as essential as it gets, so no reason to take a chance.
Your dog should always have their collar on when traveling with you, with their I.D. and license tags attached. They should be leashed when they're outside of the car. Make sure your dog’s info is up to date on the identification tags, with the correct phone number so you can be contacted if your dog gets lost.
It’s also a good idea to add a second number of a friend on the tag as an extra precaution, especially when traveling.
Your dog can and probably will get bored during the long drive so it is important to have a few things to keep them entertained. Toys and bones will give your dog something to play with and chew on, making the trip less boring.
If your dog is on medication it is very important to remember to bring it. If you forget it, you could have issues finding a vet to get a replacement or your dog could end up sick.
You may also want to pack preventive medication for your dog as well like motion sickness medication.
Giving your dog treats along the way will encourage good behavior while you are driving.
Towels can be used to protect the seats of your vehicle, and they can be used to clean your dog off if they get muddy or wet during the trip.
Blankets from home are important to bring because your dog probably won't have its normal bed to sleep in during the car ride. The blankets can make your dog more comfortable during your road trip and they can also protect your car.
When you have to pull over to let your dog use the bathroom it is important to have poop bags to put your waste in. Keeping waste bags in your vehicle at all times will be helpful along the way.
First Aid Kit & Vaccination Records
If an accident were to happen and your dog becomes ill or hurt it is important to have all the right vaccination records for any vet you may need to see.
You also want to make sure you have some first aid supplies packed as well like bandages or gauze to patch up minor injuries.
If your dog has an accident along the way, you are going to need some cleaning supplies to clean up your car. We suggest you pack air fresheners, rubber gloves, fabric cleaners, and trash bags.