How to Prepare Your Dog for a Long Road Trip

Making a road trip soon? Well, you don’t want to leave anyone behind, especially your pooch. When traveling by car with your dog, preparation is key, especially if this your dog’s first road trip adventure.

Planning Your Road Trip Ahead 

To make your trip more enjoyable and less stressful, planning is essential to ensure that your dog’s needs are taken into consideration.

One of the first decisions to make is should you crate your dog while riding in the car or is your dog seasoned enough to sit quietly constrained outside of a crate. Even if you decide not to crate your dog, bringing the crate is still a great idea in case your dog needs the seclusion on the road or at the destination.

Check your route for designated rest stops. Just like people, dogs need bathroom breaks and time to stretch, eat and just take a breather before moving ahead.

According to, plan to bring your dog essentials:  regular food, bottled water, extra treats, bowls, brush, his favorite bedding and toys so that he or she feels at home as much as possible. And don’t forget the leash and your favorite poop picker upper bags.

You might also want to pack some potty pads, paper towels and cleaner in case your dog becomes ill or has to relieve himself inside the car.

Downloading some mobile apps also might be helpful in planning your road trip and assist you to help your pet while on the road.

For example, BringFido lets you find accommodations that are pet-friendly and VetFinder, as the name suggests, lets you look for the nearest veterinarian in case of any health issues or injuries your dog may experience during the trip.

Preparing Your Dog 

Training your dog ahead of time to get in and out of the car and riding in the car itself is an important aspect of ongoing training. Your dog needs to know how to act in and around cars for your dog’s safety and for yours while driving.

Just like people, some dogs might have problems with motion sickness or even over excitement that might cause them to become sick inside the car. To prevent this, take your dog on short car rides to encourage him to calm down and be relaxed. If your dog does become sick, pull over when it is safe, reassure your furry friend that it is okay and clean up the mess. Don’t yell at your dog while driving or while cleaning up the mess because that could make a bad situation even worse.

Bigger dogs, like German Shepherds, can take up a lot of space, are more energetic, and are more prone to jumping out of moving cars. When driving make sure to crack your windows only so that your dog can enjoy some fresh air without the temptation to escape.

Whatever you do, do not allow your dog to sit in your lap while driving.  This is a common mistake and can cause distracted driving accidents.

The day before a longer road trip, make sure your dog gets enough exercise and rest. Reassure your dog when packing up the car that everything will be okay. Before you leave, feed your dog so you won’t have to make unnecessary feeding stops.

Safety Precautions When Travelling

Safety is imperative when travelling along the road. Aside from preparing everything for you and your dog, you also have to take extra precautions. Whether it may be a short or a long drive, it is always best to ensure safety for both you and your dog.

Training your dog to sit quietly in the car (not in your lap) is essential to safe driving. Also, training your dog how to be around the outside of the car and when to enter the car and leave the car is essential.

Anytime you stop whether on the road or at your final destination, keeping your dog leashed is important for your safety and his. If you dog becomes nervous in new situations, a muzzle might also be part of your planning to keep your dog calm and non-biting/fighting other dogs.

Be prepared. That is the key to achieving a successful road trip with your pet dog. Have fun with your pooch on the road and don’t forget to take pictures too!

Since starting Crazy Pet Guy, Sarah Jones has learned more about taking care of pets based on their predisposed instinct and their loving nature. Learn more about pets on her blog today.

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