Ben Rowenstein, the owner of a dog in San Francisco, loves traveling. He never leaves the dog Jabi behind.
Together, the pair made a road trip to Chicago, Lake Tahoe and Los Angeles. They hiked New Mexico trails, explored Utah’s national parks, and ran through Colorado’s snow banks.
According to Lowenstein, the biggest advantage of traveling with Javi is that his best friend is always with him. He loves Jabi to put his head on the console of his car and fall asleep on his way to his next adventure.
But road trips with dogs are not all beautiful moments. It can be challenging for both dogs and their owners. Tips to help your four-legged companion succeed on the road:
1. Teach them to love cars.
Give your dog a positive relationship with the car long before your expedition.
“Practice gets better,” says Erdem Tuncsiper, who runs PACK Leaders Dog Training in Chicago. “Don’t make your big trip their first trip.”
Take as many local drives as you can and give them treats and toys to make your car fun. Take them to an exciting place and make sure they don’t see the car as a cell phone delivering directly to the vet.
If the dog is worried, the pet’s parents will “reward all interactions directed to the car, such as seeing, sniffing, approaching, stepping in, etc., and then proceed with the baby’s steps. So we can encourage more involvement with the car, “says Darris Cooper. , Petco’s National Dog Training Manager.
Bring items like bowls and blankets to find comfort as well as your dog is accustomed to, says Tuncsiper.
“This includes everything for sleeping, eating and drinking,” he says.
2. Keep your dog as comfortable as possible.
“Make sure your dog isn’t stressed by the sights, sounds, and movements of the car,” says Dr. Natalie Marks, a veterinarian at VCA Bloom Animal Hospital in Chicago. “Helps reduce stress by playing classical music, spraying pheromones to help relax, training proper restraints, favorite treats, and not feeding at least two hours before the start of the trip to avoid nausea. There are many additional features. “
Dogs are also prone to overheating, so be sure to ventilate well (do not leave your dog in a parked car).
“If your dog wears a lot of pants, he’s hotter than you and needs air,” Tuncsiper said.
Excessive gasping can also be a sign of anxiety. If your dog doesn’t feel comfortable, talk to your vet about anxiolytics and over-the-counter chews and drops.
3. Expect the trip to take some time.
Dogs need to stop by regularly to run around, relax and explore all the new stimulating odors.
“Our family has a two- or three-hour drive time rule,” said Christina Howitt, co-founder of Find Your Blue, a Kansas City-based travel agency that specializes in dog-friendly itineraries. say. “We always try to stop frequently … and we try to avoid driving more than a total of 5-6 hours a day.”
4. Responsibly pack the puppy’s suitcase.
Dogs need a lot when traveling. According to Marks, the checklist includes medicines, vaccination records, dog first aid kits, additional straps and collars, ID tags, crates (if the dog needs to be left alone during the stay), and foldable. Must include a bowl.
Bring at least two days’ worth of additional food and water.
There is a water bowl that gets caught in your car so that your dog can drink whenever he wants. Howitt recommends a non-spillable bowl by RocKur Designs. “Easy to fold and go hiking. Combine this with a hydration backpack to refill the bowl.”
5. Safety first.
In case of an emergency, plan a veterinary clinic along the route in advance.
And check out many products designed to help keep your dog safe in the car.
“Supplies such as booster seats, travel carriers, crash-tested harnesses and seatbelt adapters are essential for road trips,” says Petco Cooper. “By limiting the movement of the dog, you can reduce the chance of injury from an accident.”
6. Find a dog-friendly place in advance.
Traveling with a dog requires more advance planning and less spontaneity.
“Please do some research in advance, especially for hotels and tourism,” said dog owner Leksa Pravdic, who advised dog scouts and Pluto to drive from their Chicago home to New Mexico, Arizona, and Colorado. increase. “Many national parks do not allow dogs or restrict access to certain small areas. Look for national monuments or state parks where you can keep your dog.”
7. Enjoy the ride quality.
“Have fun and show us everything,” says Tuncsiper. “Let them smell the new things you buy.”
Pravdic agrees. “Logistics can be a hassle, but a road trip with my dog is 100% worth it,” she says. “They are happy to be with you wherever they go.”
Expedition with a dog?Tips for making both happy
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