There are a lot of ways to take a road trip with your dog. You can plan an epic cross-country journey and make it a vacation for both of you. Or you can just go on a short, fun trip to the lake or park near home.
Whatever your goals, here are some helpful tips for traveling with your dog in the car:
- Prepare your dog beforehand. If you’re planning a longer road trip, start preparing your pup by taking him on short drives around town and then gradually increasing the distance as he gets used to being in the car. This will help him adjust to being in his crate while driving, which is especially important if he’s never been in one before.
- Make sure your car is safe. If you’re driving long distances, check for overheating and make sure the tires are inflated properly.
- Pack plenty of water and food for your pet and make sure it is stored safely in the trunk or back seat — away from food and drinks for you and other passengers.
- Bring along a travel carrier or crate that lets them stand up, turn around and lie down comfortably. Make sure to have the right-size carrier for your dog — one that is too small can be dangerous if they can’t move freely inside their crate.
- Never leave your dog alone in the car during hot weather. Even if it’s parked in shade or air-conditioning, temperatures inside a car can reach dangerous levels quickly while you’re gone — even if only running errands around town.
- If you have more than one dog in your vehicle, consider using crates of varying sizes so that they both have enough room. The larger ones should be used for dogs who like to stretch out and lie down when they sleep. If your dog is prone to biting when he or she wakes up, then use smaller crates so that they don’t have enough room to move around and bite anyone or anything nearby!