For many families around the country, summer means family road trips. Whether you’re driving across the state or across the country, road trips are as fun as they are stressful. There is no better way to bond with family and friends than packing up the car and traveling down the highways and back roads of the country. But for many families, a road trip includes more than just the human members of the clan. Many dogs will get to ride along this summer and throughout the year as more and more families decide to take pet-friendly vacations. Here are a few tips for making sure that your dog has the best experience possible during your trip:
- First of all, make sure you have the right sized car for handling an animal. Don’t force a medium-sized dog to spend hours in the back of a Honda Accord with all your bags. If this is your only option, you might be better off leaving the dog with a sitter while you’re gone. It’s recommended that wagons, SUVs, and mini-vans are used for long trips with an animal.
- Get a crate that is large enough for your dog to stand up in. If it is big enough for a standing dog then they should be able get up and turn around during your trip. That is essential for the dog to find comfort during the trip. Get your dog used to the crate by having them use it a couple hours a day for a week leading up to the trip.
- Make sure you put some miles on your dog before the trip! An experienced “rider” will be more easy going in the car, so make sure to bring your dog along for rides leading up to the big trip.
- Never leave your pet alone in the car. Even with your windows cracked, your car becomes a furnace in no time and will cause heatstroke for your animals.
- Stop every few hours for your dog to go to the bathroom and have a drink of water. Always attach a leash before you open the car door. Bring bottles of your own water with you.
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