cute golden retriever dog sitting in car trunk with luggage for trip

7 Tips for road trips with your dog during this busy season

Johnna Devereaux C.P.N.

It’s that time of year when we all pile in the car (pup included) and drive over the river and through the woods! Safely get to grandma’s house (or your best friend’s) with these quick and easy travel tips.

1. Bring a little bit of home with you

Long car rides and overnights in hotels or new spaces can be scary for dogs. The best way to help them is to bring something they love from home along for the ride. Their favorite blanket or bed along with their favorite toy should be just enough to help with their journey. Make sure to bring the crate if your dog is crate-trained.

Happy smiling young golden retriever dog under blanket laying on bed

2. Be prepared

A few important things you should pack besides food and water include your pup(s) vaccine records, a first aid kit and a current picture of your pet. Don't forget those poop bags either--besides being useful for their namesake task, they can also be used for clean up if your dog gets sick in the car!

3. Be safe

Always leash your dog before they exit the vehicle. This is especially important in new surroundings as a dog may become skittish to new sounds or sights and act out of character and run off, or worse, get hurt.

4. Stretch those legs!

As a general rule of thumb, every time you fill-up your gas tank you should take your dog for a brief walk around the parking lot to stretch their legs and relieve themselves, if needed. Aim for a short stretch at least once every three hours.

Man walking Labrador Retriever on a leash

5. Stay well

Have a dog with a nervous belly? Ginger root may help calm an unsettled stomach and is best given just before departure.

6. Shop smart

You’re halfway there, you realize you’ve forgotten their food, and you stop at a pet store—only to find out they don't carry your brand. Simply buy a food with a similar ingredient list and also purchase some unsweetened, organic canned pumpkin. The fiber in the pumpkin may help avoid any digestive disturbances the new food may cause.

7. Enjoy yourself!

Our dogs feel our stress. The best way to ensure everyone is comfortable and happy is to realize how lucky we are to travel with our four-legged companions in the first place. Take your time, enjoy the journey and have fun at your destination!

Woman with her dog have a tea time during their autumn auto travel

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