Road Tripping Safely
Road Tripping Safely
Dogs are the perfect road companion, down for any adventure and they’re there to help you beat highway loneliness. However, it’s important to be aware of your dog’s needs while on the road. Safety and preparation will ensure an enjoyable trip.
Dogs are commonly placed in a car without any safety restraints, even though seat belts for humans are common use and even legally enforced. According to The American Kennel Club, car safety equipment will keep your dog safe when driving: preventing distractions, managing the dog’s deceleration rate upon impact, and keeping the dog restrained post-crash.
Having a dog unrestrained in a car can present an array of risks. They may cause distractions leading to an accident, it can increase risk of injury during an accident, and it can result in the dog panicking or running off after an accident.
Make sure you are bringing your buddy’s medical records and that they are up to date on all shots. All licenses & IDs should be up to date as well. If something unfortunate were to happen, such as an accident or natural disaster, it’s imperative to know what current medications your dog may be on and what vaccinations it’s had, or to know of any pre-existing conditions that need attention. Different states and even counties may have different rules on dog ownership, best to have everything with you.
Plan your route and make sure you are staying at dog-friendly accommodations. Potty breaks are recommended every 4 hours for 15-30 minutes. For maximum comfort, try to give your dog its own area in the car. If you can, taking a crash-tested crate with you would be your best option. If you're worried about a car-sick dog, feed him hours before the trip and take them on a long walk to tire them out with the intention of them sleeping for a portion of the trip.
Cesar Milan has some great tips if you’re packing luggage, why wouldn’t your dog need one too? Pack all the essentials from food and water bowls (as well as the food and water), an extra leash and collar, toys, medications, protective clothing, dog-safe insect repellent and sunscreen, blanket, towel, shampoo, brush/flea comb, poop bags, treats, and water goggles if you’re planning a trip to a body of water! Anything you can think of to make the trip less hectic for you and your dog should be thrown in the bag!
The more prepare you are, the more time you can spend having fun!