Summertime means road trip time! Whether you’re traveling just to get to your destination or you’re all about enjoying the journey there, your vacation starts the moment you leave the driveway. Here are some tips from Island Vet Hospital, your local Richmond Veterinary Clinic, for a successful road trip with your pup.
MAKE SURE YOU FAMILIARIZE THEM WITH CAR RIDES
Some dogs just love car trips and can’t wait to be a part of whatever adventure you are taking them. For other dogs the car can be an anxiety-provoking nightmare. For this reason, it makes sense to start building your pup up for a long trip by starting off with frequent short ones. And make sure that the destination is somewhere they like! That way they feel like there’s a reward at the end of the car ride, such as a park they like to play at, or a friend or family member’s house that they enjoy visiting.
The goal is to make it seem to your furriest family member that car travel equals fun. And if your pup still can’t seem to find the joy in car travel, make an appointment with your vet to talk about potential sedatives or other alternatives, so that everyone can enjoy the vacation, your pet included.
THEY NEED THEIR OWN SEAT AND SHOULD NEVER RIDE SHOTGUN
While you might want to cuddle with your pet on your lap or have them sit beside you in the passenger seat, you also want to keep your pet safe. What’s best is for them to have their own seat with a seatbelt or harness, or a bag or kennel, to protect them in the case of a quick stop or accident.
While no one wants to think of a worst-case scenario, it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to car travel. For the same reason you would never ride without your seatbelt, you need to think of your dog’s safety when it comes to car travel. There are many options at your local pet store for dogs of all sizes, so prep for your trip by thinking safety for your pet.
YOUR PUP NEEDS PIT STOPS TOO!
On long car trips, consider that humans aren’t the only ones who need to stretch their legs, have a snack, and take a pee break. Plan your route not just with food stops and gas station washrooms for you, but also green spaces and places to throw a few rounds of fetch for your pup, allotting them the opportunity to relieve themselves. This will make the trip much more enjoyable for them, and much more likely they’ll want to join you on your future road trip adventures.
For more tips on how to make your road trip dog friendly, don’t hesitate to contact your local Richmond veterinary clinic—Island Vet Hospital. We’re here to help you make your road trip family vacation the best one ever!