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The Ultimate Guide to Road Tripping with Dogs

Posted by Claudia Bensimoun on

Some of the best activities a person and furry best friend can do together is enjoying the outdoors. Yet, getting there with your dogs can be a problem if it’s a long drive away. If you’re not sure as to how to prepare for that road trip with your adventure dog during the cooler months ahead, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Whether you want to take your pooch to a coastal retreat or a mountain adventure, you’ll need to get your dogs comfortable with car travel. Here’s how to make this a stress- free adventure!

With cooler weather on the way, you’re probably already thinking about that road trip with dog. You may be planning on taking your furry best friend with you to the mountains or a pet friendly resort with plenty of dog hiking trails where you’ll need your Ranger Pack and outdoor dog gear.

But what if he hates going for car rides? No matter what your dog’s age, you can still teach him to get used to car rides, but you’re going to have to take steps to make sure that you don’t stress him out in the beginning, and that he stays safe and behaves. Before embarking on that road trip with your dog, or any outdoor travel adventure, here are some tips to help ensure a pleasant road trip with your pup:


Train Your Pup 

Before embarking on a long road trip, get him comfortable on short car rides. PetMD recommends getting your dog ready for car travel ahead of time. “Train your pet to travel in his kennel so he feels comfortable. This will be invaluable training and will make the entire traveling experience less stressful to your pet—whether you’re going across the country or across town,” says Dr. Osborne, DVM, of Chagrin Falls Veterinary Center and Pet Clinic in Chagrin Falls, Ohio” via PetMD. The kennel size should be large enough, so your pet can stand up, sit down, turn around and lie down comfortably.”


Plan and Prepare Ahead of Time

Before traveling anywhere with your furry best friend, visit your veterinarian for a complete health check to make sure that he’s physically fine to go on a road trip, most especially if he’s a senior dog.

Plan ahead by finding plenty of Dog-friendly hotels, research your route, look up pet friendly restaurants, and most importantly visit pet travel publications and websites. “Plan and prepare your trip ahead of time so you don’t find yourself in a frenzy at the last minute,” says Dr. Osborne, via PetMD.


Pet Friendly Hotels

You should call your pet friendly hotel and triple check reservations and pet policies. Check out websites dedicated to traveling with furry best friends. Look for vacation ads in pet-related magazines and newsletters to check for travel discounts as well.


Pet Travel Crate

Ensure that your dog is going to have a comfortable and safe road trip. He needs to be secure in the car with either a doggie seatbelt, in his crate or kennel. You don’t want your dog jolted around or getting hurt if you have to slam on breaks suddenly.

Get to know beforehand if your pooch suffers from motion sickness. You can also take steps to prevent this by feeding your pooch a light meal two hours before leaving home. Ask your veterinarian bout homeopathic motion sickness remedies like Cocculus indicus or for over the counter anti-nausea medications. Bring along the travel dog water bowl to keep your buddy comfortable and well-hydrated at all times.


Keep Nausea at Bay

VCA hospitals add that “Many adult dogs become anxious or even nauseous during travel due to a lack of conditioning and the overwhelming unusual stimuli associated with moving inside a vehicle. Dogs that travel only once or twice a year (typically when visiting the veterinarian) are not used to car rides and often associate the car ride with the stressful experience that follows.

This causes heightened anxiety and stress, and may result in vomiting and diarrhea. Puppies that experience traumatic or frightening first rides may also associate future travel with that stressful event. Some dogs may have medical conditions such as middle or inner ear infections or vestibular disease (disease of the vestibular apparatus, located in the inner ear) that predispose them to nausea. Others may be taking medications that can cause vomiting or diarrhea.”


Car Temperature

Check your car temperature and ensure that the AC is on during hot weather. Your car should not be blowing freezing air on your pooch. That said, if it’s cold outdoors, hot air should not be blasting directly on him. Bring along a collapsible water camp bowl to hydrate along the away.

You’ll need to stop every two to three hours to let your pooch relieve himself and stretch. If he suffers from motion sickness, the fresh air will help. For both nausea and vomiting, a cool, or frozen dog hiking bandana will help to keep your pooch refreshed and cool if the weather’s hot outdoors.

For the most part, you should bring along the right amount of dog food, and your travel dog food bowl and travel dog water bowl.  that you’ll need for the trip in case you cannot purchase the same brand at your destination.


Dog Treats & Wipes

Remember to pack your dog’s favorite treats, pet meds, supplements, doggie toothbrush, and a few dog toys and blankie. Puppy wipes or unscented human wipes are necessities for all road trips, and help to clean your dog’s eyes, paws, and body parts.

 Bring along an old towel for swims, and bath time, as well as your dog’s shampoo, and grooming tools. If you have a long-haired dog breed think about clipping him beforehand to make grooming a breeze, unless you’re traveling in much colder temperatures.


Outdoor Dog Gear

A successful road trip with your adventure dog means bringing along water and food bowls like the camp bowl for easily feeding dogs or giving them water on the go. You can use these during your car ride as well.

As dog lovers, we’re all patient and adore our pooches. Their enthusiasm for being the best travel buddies, regardless of how they feel during car rides, means that we need to bring along the right dog hiking gear too like leashes, collars, harnesses, and dog hiking backpack to keep them safe in hotels, and while outdoors hiking on trails.


Post COVID-19 Road Trip with Dogs

You’re probably wondering as to pet travel during COVID-19? Today, Fido-friendly hotels are now embracing Stay Safe Guidelines with physical distancing measures to keep everyone safe, and to also allow for all Fido-Friendly pet resorts to offer the ultimate summer/winter getaway experience.

According to Fido Friendly Pet Travel magazine, “Pet-lovers can rest assured that while Fido-Friendly resorts adjust to the new normal, have adequate contact tracing and hospital capacity close by, their lucky canines can also enjoy the ultimate pet vacay with their families. Planning a post COVID-19 summer trip with Fido is as easy as perusing our pet-friendly travel links below.,” via Claudia Bensimoun, Fido Friendly. 



Dog Friendly Travel Locations During COVID-19

1. Bachelor Gulch, Beaver Creek, CO

“If you’ve thought of spending summer at the Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch, this is a private and luxurious mountain resort, remotely tucked away on the side of Beaver Creek Mountain, offering memorable mountain experiences and spacious access to the Colorado outdoors this summer season,” via Fido Friendly.
“If you’re planning any summer getaway stories, the family and dog-friendly destination offers WIFI throughout the property, outdoor terraces for dining and drinks, and the year-round outdoor pool and hot tubs will be open with social distancing in place. The destination will follow Eagle County phase guidelines, adhere to social distancing recommendations, as well as administer the Marriot Cleanliness Council requirements on cleaning and safety standards.”

2. Big Bear, CA

“Another pet friendly resort is Big Bear Cool Cabins where you can enjoy pet friendly cabins in the breathtaking mountains of Southern California. Big Bear Lake is a year- round resort with a beautiful lake for fishing and boating, also offering the best slopes for skiing and snowboarding in the winter. Big Bear Cool Cabins is officially open and encourages all visitors to follow the CDC guidelines for Covid-19. The city requires that anyone staying in a cabin are from the same household to ensure optimal safety measures.”
“Big Bear Cool Cabins offer close to 400 rental properties, the majority of which are pet friendly (with a $15 nightly fee). There are several activities, parks and restaurants in town that your dog can enjoy with you. Big Bear is the premiere vacation destination for Southern California as it is a short 2.5-hour drive from Los Angeles.”


Keep in mind that regardless of your road trip’s final destination with your pup, it’s important to find pet friendly hotels that fully embrace a safe COVID-19 pet vacay. Today, all dog lovers should be assured that while they travel with Fido, all pet friendly resorts have adequate safety measures in place, so that you can enjoy the best pet vacay out with your adventure dog! All you need to do is bring along all your outdoor dog gear together with your Ranger Pack, and of course, your best friend!