Over pack – When it comes to dogs always over pack! Bring everything that you may need just in case. Bring food, large refillable bottle of water, blanket, favorite toy, leash and food/water bowls. We have portable dishes that stay in the car at all times. Plan for an emergency. Even if you are only going on a short day trip, plan for a longer trip, just in case.
Check the weather along your route – For a longer trip make sure to check the weather on the route you will be taking. This isn’t just for you but for your dog. If you need to stop and have to leave your dog in the car you want to make sure its not going to be too hot or too cold. Extreme weather can harm your pet! Never leave your pet in the car when the temperature is above 69 degrees fahrenheit. If its cold my basic rule of thumb is, if its too cold for you its too cold for your dog!
Stop often – You know your dog better than anyone, so you know when they have to use the bathroom. When we are on the road I try to stop at a rest area and let Basil potty even 2 hours at the least. This may sound like a lot but for us and Basil, who is a smaller dog who drinks plenty of water, this works. If you have a larger dog you may not need to stop so much but I would say its better to be safe than sorry!
Make a comfortable space for your pet – For us we have never crated Basil or Nolan when in the car. They have both been great road trip dogs and are just happy to chill in the back seat. To make Basil comfortable I always bring his favorite blanket. He curls up in it and falls asleep. To keep the car seats protected we use a little weight weighted water proof picnic blanket. Its perfect for keeping the car clean from wet, dirty dog or spilled food or water. It is washable and folds up super small. For those of you that do use a crate in the car make sure to add comforts from home like a pillow or blanket.
Set the child locks on the windows – This sounds funny but it is something that we have learned over the years and it has really come in handy. If we don’t set the child locks on the power windows Basil takes it upon himself to lower the windows in the back seat no matter what the weather outside may be.
These five tip have helped us when traveling with our dog all over the United States by car. If you have any other tips you would like to add make sure to let me know in the comments below. Hope everyone is staying warm!
Travel well, Nap well, Live well!
-Abbey & Basil