Time to hit the road? Far from setting off into the sunset and enjoying a relaxing journey, travelling with a dog can be a fur-raising experience. Fear peeing, puking and pooing; shaking, barking, whining and whimpering. Yeah, safe to say that hitting Route 66 quickly turns into the road trip from hell when accompanied by your nervy canine. So, what can you do about it? Let’s work through our top waggly-tail tips and pet hacks.
PLAN WELL AHEAD FOR ACCOMMODATIONS
We don’t know why, but not everyone is a huge fan of dogs (between you and I – they don’t know what they’re missing). Anyway, dogs are pretty much a no-go for many motels and hotels, so you’ll need to do a little legwork before you set off.
This page lists pet-friendly hotels in the USA, and allows you to search by date as well as book online. Easy peasy.
1. MAKE A LIST (check it twice!) AND PACK IN GOOD TIME
Packing for a smooth trip starts with getting organized and packing your bag at least the day before. Here’s a list of things to pop into your case for your pooch:
- Dog food
- Dog crate
- Food/water bowls
- Dog harness/seat belt buckle
- Up-to-date vaccine records (this will be required when entering Canada, as well as for staying at some accommodation)
- Poo bags
- Lint roller (for attempting to tackle that in-car dog hair)
- Consider brining one of these luxury dog items with you!
- Into agility? Bring those dog ability tunnels along!
2. GO FOR WALKIES BEFORE HAND
A long dog walk will pay off big time before your journey (at least double the usual daily walk should do nicely). Give him a small treat or two once he’s home, but avoid feeding him his usual meal (a full belly is a sure-fire way to bring about car sickness).
Dogs can easily (and happily) go for a day without food, just so long as they have plenty of water on hand.
3. SAFETY FIRST
When it’s time to set off, be sure to safely secure your dog with a seat buckle or place him in a good quality crate (don’t be tempted to let him hang his head out of the window – as this can lead to some pretty nasty eye injuries).
You should also make sure that he’s easily identifiable (at least through a collar tag and microchip). Ideally however you should go one step further, and fit him with a dog tracker (there are some great – and inexpensive – options out there that work with your smartphone – such as the Paw Tracker; Gibi Pet Locator and Link AKC Smart Dog Collar).
Finally, think about the weather. If it’s the midst of summer and your car is air-conditioning free you should plan to avoid travelling during the hottest times of the day.
4. TOP UP YOUR GAS AT QUIET STATIONS
If possible, try to stop off for gas and toilet breaks at stations outside of built-up urban areas, as it’ll be more likely that you’ll discover a grassy space (which can encourage a reluctant pooch to open his bladder!).
5. TAKE A PIT-STOP FOR A MID-DAY WALK
Try to split your journey up every couple of hours or so with a 15-minute walk. This may take some planning, but it shouldn’t be too challenging to discover a nice walk just a short way off most main highways.
Bonus: POP A CBD BONE OR TWO INTO YOUR POOCH'S PACKING
CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that’s derived from all-natural, 3rd party tested hemp (e.g. it won’t make your canine stoned – it’ll simply calm their nerves and get them travel-ready).
CBD bones are made for everything from the terrors of fireworks to taking a road trip or plane ride.
FOMO bones team CBD with a formidable team of valerian root, chamomile and passion flower for one all-natural canine calmer.
Pack a suitcase, throw in the dog bag, a blanket
and a FOMO bone – we’re hitting the road!
This article by Jennifer is originally published at FOMO Bones.
Author bio: Jennifer is the voice behind the FOMO Bones blog. She's pretty sure in her past life, she was a Great Dane. However, we peg her as more of a Labrador. Regardless of her breed, she's a dog enthusiast who has 15 years experience training dogs and owners.