What to Know About Road Tripping With Pets

Family road trips, while often amusing and memorable, can exhaust the attention span of the most patient travelers. Some animals are afraid of traveling in a car, while some are a bit too excited. We’ve gathered a few tips that’ll help you and your pet enjoy the open road.

Pack for Your Pets

You’ve prepared your snacks, booked your hotel(s), gassed up the ride, and remembered to pack your charger. Don’t forget about your barking buddy! You should make sure to pack your pet’s essentials, just as you would your own. Here are some common pet travel accessories:

  • Poop bags
  • Crate and bed
  • Food and water (with their bowls)
  • Anxiety or motion sickness supplements
  • Vaccination records
  • ID tag
  • Toys and treats
  • Blankets and seat covers
  • Safety restraints

Keep Them Out of the Driver’s Seat

A roaming dog in your car can add to the numerous distractions you’re already facing. Of the 84 percent of drivers who bring their pets on various car excursions, only 16 percent use safety restraints for them. Having your canine (or feline) companion restrained inside of the vehicle helps with the safety of the animal, yourself, and other passengers in the event of a crash, and averting distractions. If you need a seatbelt, so does your pet.

Breaks Are Important

Similar to people, your pet will need to take a break from sitting in the car for 2-3 hours at a time. Often, the time spent traveling between breaks allows your dog to regain his energy, making him more playful and a disturbance while you’re behind the wheel. Use these breaks to tire him out and take a potty break.

Be sure to not spend this time on the side of the road, your pet will be in danger of getting hit by a passing vehicle. Many rest stops along U.S. interstates/highways are pet-friendly. Find pet-friendly hotels that are along your route, in case you’ll need proper rest to continue your trip. Taking your pet on a leashed stroll when you stop for gas for food is also an option.Don’t forget that your pet will still need access to water. Filling one of their bowls during each stop will encourage hydration.

Road tripping starts with planning and preparation. If you’ve failed to prepare, be prepared to fail. Now that you’ve packed the items that’ll make your journey less stressful for everyone in the vehicle, have your animal secured and not causing distractions, and allotted additional time in your itinerary for your furry friend to stretch their legs, you’re ready to make some new memories. A pet that’s comfortable and safe can have a more enjoyable experience.

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