Traveling With a Dog or Puppy on a Road Trip

road trip with puppy
Written by Arlene S. Lane

It is that time of the year and now you are about to go on a road trip with your friends and family. But what about your dog?  wouldn’t you like to take your road trip with puppy you own? We know, you won’t just leave him in your house alone, right? You might even have planned to have road trips with a dog this weekend. He is surely going to love the news but is ready for the road trip with the dog, is he ready to stay in the car for quite a while? While dogs love to go outside, sitting in a car, for the time being, isn’t always easy.

Especially if you are traveling with a puppy for the first time. What would you do about this? Don’t worry, this guide will help you to have an epic road trip with a puppy or your dog without any interruption. You both will end up having a great journey for sure. Here are considerations before a road trip with a puppy.

Checklist for Road Trip With Puppy

How long can a dog travel in a car or how well you can have the experience of traveling with puppies in car? Continue reading the checklist below.

1- Contacting Your Vet

Though dogs are known to be one of the most resilient animals as pets when it comes to diseases. However, you cannot deny the fact that they may get sick or may have some internal health issues that are hard to detect. And you can’t afford to take good road trips with a dog who is already sick. If you are going for a hiking trip or a long road trip where it is hard to find the vet in case of an emergency, you should consider contacting the vet first and getting your dog or puppy before traveling with puppies in the car.

You should consider asking the vet if he is vaccinated to the date and if he needs to be vaccinated for traveling with you in the car. Since dogs may be vulnerable to different diseases such as lime disease or while traveling to your destination. Prepare your phone with an emergency number before leaving for some road trips with a dog. And you should also consider having an emergency vet number for your dog as well.

2- Take Some Practice Trips

Traveling with a puppy can be pretty fun and stressful at the same time. Though dogs love to go outside not all dogs are friendly with the car ride. If you know that your dog is particularly anxious about the car ride then you should consider taking it for a practice ride. This is the behavior practice for the dogs. Consider taking them out for shorter rides first so they would get habitual about the car rides. Once they seem fine with it then consider planning a long car trip with new puppy or dog.

3- Packing the Necessities 

If this is a long trip then it is recommended to pack the necessities with you before leaving. Traveling with puppies in the car for longer can be a daunting task for beginners. If you don’t know how to travel with a puppy in the car then you will never enjoy the company of your dog. While packing your own stuff such as food, medicines, and some other important necessities, you should consider packing stuff for your dog as well. Keep in mind that you will stay away from the main city, stores, and vets so avoid any problem by packing the essentials such as toys, treats, food, food bowls, and bed to make sure both of you can stay fresh. Also, don’t forget the equipment to pick up the mess made by a dog for safe disposal. Because you don’t know how long can a dog travel in a car so make sure you have everything you need while traveling.

4- Pet-Friendly Hotels and Motels

Before planning a road trip with a dog, especially a long car trip with new puppy you should consider looking for some pet-friendly hotels and campsites. This is because not every hotel, motel, and even campsite will not allow taking your dog with you. So consider checking out the information regarding their policy for pets. You can visit their website to find out such important information before booking them.

5- Protecting Your Dog and Car

Before planning your trip with your dog or traveling with puppies in a car one of the first things you should consider is their security. This is crucial to provide them with a space where they can travel comfortably and stay safe. A sling or dog hammock is a perfect option for the dogs to stay comfortable and have a clear view of the road. A water and stain-resistant car seat cover would be a great option to keep the seats clean while keeping the dashboard and upholstery safe from dog claws and scratches. 

This will be helpful in keeping your car clean while putting you out of the stress if your dog is safely traveling with you.

6- Dog Care At Destination

Dogs in an unfamiliar place may get anxious and may disturb the environment and people around them. Especially when they are unattended. If you are going to attend an event like a wedding or convention then book the local dog care service before planning a road trip with dog. They can take care of your dog on your behalf for a fixed time period. Because they are mostly professionals and love to take care of dogs, so you will not have to worry about the dog.

7- Crate Your Dog

A long car trip with new puppy for hours can be fun but for your puppy, it can be a little stressful for them. This is why considering its safety should be your first priority. For maximum safety while traveling with a puppy while is to follow the safety-certified, crash-tested crate. It will also provide a safe, comfortable, and much more familiar place for the dog for sleeping in a motel, hotel, or any other accommodation.

8- Take Frequent Breaks

Planning your road trip with a puppy cab be too exciting but at the same time it can be quite stressful and tiring for the dog too. This can easily be avoided by taking frequent breaks while traveling for a longer period of time. Just like humans, dogs can also get tired as well. So what you need to do is to take a break from long driving.

You should take a break after every 2,3 hours. Your dog may have lost his energy after the last play session with you so this break would be a better opportunity to engage, play and give attention to your dog. Don’t forget to follow the safety measure while taking a break from traveling with puppies in cars or dogs. Outdoor activity is definitely more beneficial for the dog than indoor activity. But safety is compulsory so keeping your dog away from humans 6 feet away is a good idea.

9- Weather Check

Planning a long car trip with a new puppy isn’t easy. Especially when you don’t have any idea regarding his or her habits. You will need to consider several things including the weather of the area where you are heading to. This will help you to pack the right stuff for your dog or puppy. This will help you as well to ack your stuff accordingly and prepare for unexpected weather situations such as rain, hail, tornado, and snow. Make sure to have appropriate stuff such as a blanket or water-resistant bedding for your dog bed.

10- A Tired Dog = Good Dog

When it is time to go on a road trip with the dog then you should think about how active and excited the dog is. Usually, an excited dog is hard to control in the car. So all you need is to get your dog on a long run to make him or her tired. Experts say “a tired dog is a calm dog” so get it tired before taking it with you. You can also take him to the nearest dog park for some fun activities. The more tired he is, the calmer he would be.

Bottom Line For Road Trip With Puppy

Here are considerations before a road trip with a puppy. Planning lock trips can be exciting and fun for both dog owners and dogs. However, traveling with a puppy and dog can also be stressful and tiring as well. You will need to plan your trip according to the health and attitude of your puppy or dog. Just make sure to follow the safety for maximum fun and joy. Learn more about Dogs at our dog care blog which we update it regularly. 

About the author

Arlene S. Lane

Arlene S. Lane is a veterinary technician and hospital manager with over 12 years of experience. Arlene has been contributed expert content to The Pet's Rise for over 10 years.
Arlene has worked in veterinary medicine since 2017. Arlene's veterinary experience ranges from routine wellness care and preventive medicine to emergency and specialty care, where she has performed duties ranging from specialized nursing to clinical administration.

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