How to travel long distance with a dog

How to Travel Long Distance with a Dog (9 Tips!)

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No matter how exciting traveling with a dog may be, the excitement will come to an end if your pup is uncomfortable and the journey is long.  To give your dog comfort during a long trip, I’ll discuss some important preparations you should consider before you leave your home.

A Visit to the Veterinary Clinic

Your veterinarian is in the best position to decide if your dog can travel. If she gives you the green light, ask her if she can make the trip less stressful for your dog. The vet will know best how to address common problems with your particular breed of dog.

1. Book a Friendly Room

Before you travel, make sure the hotel at which you’re booking is pet-friendly. There are hotels that don’t allow pets and it’s hard to know which ones they are. Plan ahead and do your due diligence.

2. Split Your Trip into Manageable Segments

If you think your pet is going to be affected by a long-distance trip, split the trip into smaller parts. There are some dog breeds that aren’t allowed in some hotels. Don’t just check if the hotel accommodates dogs, make sure your breed is on the preferred list.

3. Travel with Meals and Snacks

Bring lots of snacks for your pets. I recommend a braided chew-friendly dog bone that’ll keep doggie preoccupied.

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Dingo P-25002 Mini Bones, Rawhide For Small/Toy Dogs,White, 35-Count
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  • Packed With Protein
  • Promotes Clean Teeth From The Natural Action Of Chewing
  • Classic Bone Shaped Chew, Packed With Flavor
  • No Fillers Or Artificial Binders

4. Teach Your Dog to Stay Calm in the Car

Before your long-distance trip, go on short ones with your dog. Acclimation is important, especially if Rover hasn’t traveled before.

But more importantly, you could reward your dog with treats so he’ll be conditioned to stay calm in the car.

And besides, if he’s anything like me, your dog will soon fall asleep from the hypnotic highway vibrations.

5. Eating: When to Feed

Unfortunately, some dogs just don’t do well on car trips. If you haven’t traveled with your pup, you won’t know how he’ll respond to a long drive until you do. In this case, I’d suggest bringing plastic wraps in the event your dog has to vomit. Wrap the area where your dog will be to protect the interior of the car. I’d also suggest you not feed your dog a full meal at least 8 hours before the trip; consider smaller bites more frequently to monitor his health. Do not forget about water for your puppy, especially in the summer hot day.

6. Secure Your Pet’s Crate

If you intend to use a crate to transport your dog, ensure it’s well-secured. The last thing you want is for it to become unfastened and compromise the safety of your pet. Use the seatbelt around the crate if it’ll reach, or consider purchasing a seat-belt extender to do the job.

7. There Should Be Rest Stops

You should remember to stop in intervals of between two and three hours. This would strengthen your pet and give him the energy he needs to move around when he arrives at your destination.

8. Bring Interactive Dog Toys

Have you considered interactive favorite toys to keep your dog preoccupied? This is one of the best ways to keep him relaxed and mentally stimulated.

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Nina Ottosson by Outward Hound Dog Brick Interactive Treat Puzzle Dog Toy, Intermediate
  • BOREDOM BUSTER INTERACTIVE DOG TOY: As one of our most popular intermediate level 2 designs, the Dog Brick interactive puzzle includes additional obstacles and combinations of steps that will keep your dog focused and mentally-stimulated as they search...
  • FLIP, LIFT, & SLIDE TO HIDE TREATS: The Nina Ottosson Dog Brick comes with 3 types of treat hiding compartments to test your furry' friends skills! Flip lid compartments open and slide to reveal two separate treat hiding spots while removable brick bones...
  • ENCOURAGES POSITIVE PLAY HABITS: This fun and rewarding puzzle is great for reducing anxious dog behavior and redirecting destructive behavior.
  • BPA, PVC & PHTHALATE-FREE: Nina Ottosson by Outward Hound interactive treat dog puzzles are designed with your pet's health in mind from food safe materials that you can trust with your dog. Easy to clean with warm water and soap between uses.
  • PLAY IT SAFE: No toy is indestructible. Do not leave toys with unsupervised pets. Remove and replace toy if damaged.

9. Bring Washable Dog Beds

A dog bed should be washable because we know how dirty and smelly dogs are. By laying out a bed, you’ll keep your vehicle clean. You’ll also be providing a familiar environment for your dog.

This is especially important if you’re traveling far from home, camping in the woods, or even RVing with your dog at a campground. Having a familiar place will lower your dog’s stress during the trip.

Amazon Basics Pet Dog Bed Pad, 23 x 18 x 2.5 Inch, Grey Swirl
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  • 23" long
  • Neutral tone and classic design its in with most existing home decor
  • Machine washable for easy cleaning. Wash in cold water, gentle cycle; do not bleach; tumble dry, gentle cycle, low heat; do not iron; do not dry clean
  • Recommended for cats and extra-small sized dog breeds

Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed these tips. Remember, your dog shouldn’t be an afterthought. If the above suggestions aren’t to your liking, consider listening to slow music during your trip to reduce stress — for you and your best friend.

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