Memorial Day weekend marks the official kickoff of summer. Last year, nearly 42 million Americans hit the road for various reasons: to go camping, to enjoy beach, or just to visit family and friends. If you plan to join the road tripping masses this year, there’s no need to leave Fido at home.
Dogs make excellent beach and camping companions, but you first need to ensure they can handle the journey getting there. Here are a few helpful tips for getting your dog to your destination so the summer fun can start.
In addition to your suitcase, be sure to pack a separate bag with everything your dog will need for their time away. You’ll need their food and water bowl, of course, plus you may want to bring their dog bed, favorite blanket, and toys to remind them of home. For the car ride, you may want to invest in a crash-tested crate. (This is the safest way of them to travel and will ensure they are comfortable.) It can also double as a bed when you get to your hotel or Airbnb. Lastly, be sure to pack their vaccine records and your vet’s number in case of an emergency.
If your dog is prone to anxiety or stressed about being in the car, you may want to give some calming treats before the trip. You can talk to your vet about treats that won’t make your little guy ill. Or, if you can’t get an appointment on time want to buy something online, look for homeopathic treats or calming chews, which are usually considered safe for dogs. You can also try CBD for dogs.
Another alternative is a “thunder shirt” which acts as a calming shield for your pup. They are usually used for thunderstorms and loud noises (thus the name) but can equally come in handy in the car.
We get it—you’re on a schedule and need to get there fast. Stopping slows you down. But on long road trips, just as the humans need rest stops to stretch their legs and relieve themselves, so does Fido. Plan to stop every few hours so your dog can get out and run around. Preferably, look for rest stops with some grass or dog relief areas. But you can also Google dog parks or hiking trails along your route if you want to give your buddy some exercise time on the long drive.