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Traveling With Your Dog: Packing Tips & Road Trip Essentials

Tips for Traveling With a Dog
Bringing your dog along on your road trip will undoubtedly always make any vacation more enjoyable — as long as you do it right! Nobody wants to be unprepared in times of emergency or get halfway to the destination just to realize you left some crucial items on your kitchen counter. Whether you’re traveling with a big dog or a small one, we’ve got the tips and tricks you need to make this road trip with your pup one to remember!

Traveling With Your Dog: A Car Ride Rookie
Our four-legged passengers often have varying feelings about car rides in addition to varying experience levels. Some are ecstatic, bolt out the door and hop in the car as you’re packing it up, then usually refuse to get back out until it’s time to go. Others require some convincing; maybe they’ve had iffy past experiences with vehicles, or perhaps the sound or concept of movement frightens them. Whatever the case, here are some excellent tips for traveling with a dog from our experts at AZPetVet and American Kennel Club that are sure to help make this trip as comfortable (or tolerable) and exciting as possible for everyone in the car.

  • Get your pup used to the car by allowing him to sit in it with you without actually going anywhere, and then follow this up by going for short rides around the block.
  • Avoid car sickness by skipping the meal prior to departure and letting your dog travel on an empty stomach. However, make sure they have access to plenty of water.
  • Be sure to keep the car well ventilated: check that the rear vents are flowing smoothly. If the dog is in a crate, make sure that fresh air is flowing right into it.
  • While your pet may enjoy the wind in their jowls, if you’re going any further than a ride around the block, roll the windows up. Don’t let your pup ride with his head sticking out of an open window, as these high winds can lead to eye injuries, plus you risk your pet jumping out.
  • Never let your dog ride in the bed of an open truck. This is extremely dangerous. If an accident occurs, it could lead to severe injuries.
  • Stop frequently for a good stretch, some much-needed exercise, and potty breaks. Be sure to clean up after your dog!
  • Car rides can be boring for everyone, so instruct your children not to tease or taunt the dog in the car, especially if your pet is already an anxious rider.

Never, ever leave your dog unattended in a closed vehicle, especially during the summer months. If you must leave the car, designate another passenger to stay with the dog. See our Summer Safety Blog for more information.

What Do I Need to Travel With My Dog?
As far as necessities you might want to keep in your car; there are a few that you can pick and choose from depending on your dog’s specific needs. Plus, any of these supplies are great whether you’re taking a day trip, long trip, or just packing up for a picnic. Consider throwing these in your car:

1. Camera (capture those moments!)
2. Dog Car Harness
3. Food/Water
4. Adjustable Dog Seat Belt
5. Waterproof Car Seat Covers
6. Dog Bed for Back Seat
7. Spill-Proof/Collapsible Dog Bowl
8. Portable Dog Water Bottle
9. Portable Air Conditioner
10. Cooling Pad
11. Dog Calming Treats
12. Chew Toys
13. Comfy Blankets for Sleep and Warmth
14. Towels
15. Poop Bags /Trash Bag
16. Car Odor Eliminator
17. Paper Towels
18. Dog First Aid Kit
19. Pet ID Info/Medical Records
20. Flea/Tick Medicine

Above all, just remember: You’re on vacation! The process of getting to your destination can be stressful, but pets can pick up on that, so it’s important to remain calm. Your pet will sense that peace and settle easily and be well on the road to becoming a seasoned traveler. Safe travels!

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