Road trips are one of the best and funnest things in the world, but they can be quite exhausting. You get stiff, irritated, tired and sleepy and you express it with frequent complaints and a bad mood. However, if you travel with your pet, it might express its irritation in ways that are not exactly car-friendly. So, how can you make sure your road trip with your dog goes smoothly and is stress-free? You can find out here.

Take practice trips

If you know car rides aren’t exactly your pup’s favorite thing in the world and it usually gets nervous and anxious during rides, try taking a few practice trips. Short practice trips that end in positive experiences for your dog (like a visit to the dog park or pet store) will make it more relaxed when you take your real trip.

Safety first

Your dog’s safety should be your number one priority during your road trip. Don’t force your dog into doing something it doesn’t want to do, otherwise, this could further complicate your trip. Additionally, provide your dog with a dog sling or bed in the back seat for comfortable naps. Keeping in mind that bigger cars provide more space and feel less like a cage to your pup.

Get rid of excess energy

Just like with kids, a tired dog is usually a well-behaved dog. That’s why it’s a great idea to visit a dog park or go on a long run before you start your road trip. Getting rid of that excess energy will make your dog feel less stressed and it might even sleep through the ride.

Provide entertainment

Long car rides can be quite boring for your dog, so you need to keep it entertained with toys and activities it likes. Make sure to bring a tug toy or a Frisbee. Once you reach a rest stop, you can engage in games that will entertain your dog both physically and mentally. You might look at these games as tiring or demanding, but to your dog, they come as rest. It’s the car ride that’s exhausting to dogs. Also, don’t forget to pack a chew toy, otherwise you might end up ruined seats and seat belts.

Dogs thrive on healthy routines

Just because you’re not at home, it doesn’t mean everything needs to change. Your dog will still enjoy its regular daily routine, so make sure to provide it with walks, playtime and access to water and food. For instance, when I travel with my pup, I always stock up on his favorite puppy food from Royal Canin that always makes him calm and happy. Additionally, it’s great if you can give your dog the same food they eat at home and at the same time to avoid upsetting its stomach and creating health problems that can ruin your trip. And make sure to wash the bowls with soap and water, so they’re always clean.

Check with your vet

Before you begin your journey, get one last check up from your vet. Make sure your dog has all the necessary vaccines, especially if you’re traveling somewhere where your dog can encounter different health threats than at home. If you’re planning to spend a lot of time in nature, make sure your dog is protected from Lyme disease. Also, bring your dog’s proof of vaccination, information about microchip registration, insurance and other necessary emergency documents. Once your vet gives you the green light, you can take the road trip without any concerns for your pet’s health.

Now that you know what to expect and when you have everything packed and ready, grab your furry friend and hit the road. You’ll both have an amazing time!