Did someone say road trip?
With the stunning weather and longer days, Summer is the perfect time to jump in the car and embark on an epic road trip to explore all that our beautiful country has to offer. Plus, road trips allow you the freedom to enjoy and explore the great outdoors with all your family members, meaning you don’t have to leave the furry, four-legged ones behind.
But if you plan on taking your pup on a road trip, there are several things you need to consider and essentials you must bring - from dog treats to first aid kits - ensuring all travellers (both human and canine) experience an incredible journey from beginning to end. To help you prepare for a smooth and memorable dog-friendly road trip, here are our organisation and packing tips to ensure that your pet stays safe, healthy, and happy on the road.
Before you go:
- Book an appointment with your pup’s vet ahead of time to get your dog up to date on their vaccinations and discuss heartworm, flea and tick medication and other precautionary measures you should take while travelling with dogs. Also, take the time double-checking your pup is microchipped and the contact details are up to date and recorded on the microchip register.
- Make sure your dog is wearing a collar with an up to date and legible ID tag.
- Check that your pooch is used to travelling long distances by car before you head off on your trip. If you’re unsure, start bringing your dog on long car rides and gradually increase the amount of time they’re in the car, as this lets you address any issues your pet may have on the longer rides before the trip.
- Plan frequent breaks (every 3-4 hours) for pet relief and a short walk, as it’s essential to make sure your pup will have the opportunity to stretch their legs and get some fresh air during long stretches of car time.
- Feed your dog at least 3-4 hours before leaving for your trip to avoid any accidents in the car.
What to Pack:
When hitting the road with your canine family member, there are a few essentials that you need to bring along, as well as some additional items that will keep your dog comfortable and entertained along the way. Here’s what you shouldn’t leave home without:
- Any required prescription medication (if they have any).
- Your pups’ regular food and dog treats.
- Food and water bowls - and always carry enough bottles of fresh water with you in case you can’t find a tap at rest stops.
- Your dogs’ collar/harness and leash.
- Appropriately fitted vehicle restraints or a crate so that they can travel safely in the car.
- Their bed or blanket to offer a sense of comfort in unfamiliar environments.
- Your dog’s favourite toy(s) to keep them entertained during the journey.
- Doggy first aid kit - any items to help minor injuries before consulting the vet.
- Grooming equipment, including a towel in case your dog gets wet or dirty.
- A pooper scooper and plastic bags to clean up after your dog.
- Vet-prescribed calming aids (if needed).
Travelling with dogs can be challenging at times, but it’s also an excellent opportunity for you to bond with your furry friend on a dog-friendly holiday. So just make sure you take the necessary steps to ensure you and your pup have a good time—and then kick back, hit the open road and enjoy!