Essential Strategies to Prep Your Pooch for Long Trips

dog in car

The song of the open road can be tempting, especially when you have your furry best friend with you. However, although longer road trips with dogs can be fun, it can be challenging. Dogs can get restless fast and do dangerous things, such as hanging their heads out of windows or suddenly jumping on you when you’re driving along busy highways. With these factors in the mix, your leisurely road trip may start to sound a bit stressful.

To make it easier for you and your pup, here are top tips to consider when going on the road with your dog — don’t hit the road without them!

Train Them Using Positive Reinforcement

A well-trained dog will be easier to manage on long road trips than unruly pups. So, train your furry friend using positive reinforcement methods, which pertains to rewarding your dog when they do something as told. For instance, when your dog jumps in the car, give them their favorite treats to show them that getting in the vehicle without being coerced is the right thing to do. However, if you don’t have the time to train them, enroll them in dog board and train classes to fully prepare them for the trip.

Contact Your Vet

If it’s been a couple of months or weeks since your dog’s last check-up, it’s time for you to take them to the vet. Doing this helps ensure your dog is up-to-date on required vaccinations and is in the condition to travel. It’s also wise to ask your dog’s vet if they recommend any additional vaccinations to protect your pup from different threats they may encounter while on the trip, like Lyme disease.

Take Practice Trips Beforehand

If you’re aware that your pup gets anxious during car rides, consider practicing behavioral training methods with them. For instance, a couple of weeks before your road trip, take your dog on some short practice trips to give them a feel for it, and let them get used to it.

dog running in sand

Groom Your Dog Ahead of Time

Before going on a long trip, ensure you give your furry friend a full grooming session from fur to nails to make them more comfortable during the trip and everyone in the car. After all, nobody wants to go on an adventure muddied up.

Pack the Essentials

Besides preparing your dog for the trip, ensure you’re going prepared for them. That’s why it’s wise to travel with your pet’s necessities, including water bowls, medicine, clean water, treats, toys, feeding bowls, poop bags, updated medical records, tags, collars, leashes, and other supplies that help you avoid detours.

Protect Your Dog And Car

When going on a road trip with your dog, their safety should always be your priority before anything else. It’s best to have a dog sling or mini hammock (seat cover) in the back seat to give your pup a comfortable and safe space to sleep on while saving your car’s upholstery from fur and claw marks.

Wear that Dog Out

A tired dog is often more well-behaved than energized pups, so before hitting the road, take your pet for a long run or a quick visit to the dog park.

Going on adventures is always more fun when shared with your dog, especially on longer road trips. Although it can be fun, remember that your pet will need a little extra foresight and preparation. Follow the tips mentioned to help your pup prepare for the long journey ahead — giving you both an enjoyable and stress-free adventure.

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