Christmas and New Year's are just around the corner which means many of us will be making plans to get to our families for their respective gatherings. For those of us that have dogs, this also means making care arrangements for our them or finding traveling options where they can join you.
My dog is 40 pounds and too big to fly in cabin with me, so typically I opt for driving as putting her in cargo really freaks me out. Our roadtrip to my parents consists of 14 hours on mostly empty highways, just the two of us and Harry Potter Audioboks. I am going to share my tips and tricks with you on how to make the journey easier for both you and your furry travel buddy.
1. Make sure to give them ample exercise before you get in the car. You want them to mostly sleep in the back, not trying to climb into the front seat with you every 5 seconds.
2. Get a car seat cover that's also a hammock for the back seat. This not only protects the upholstery in the car (especially if it's a rental), but it prevents them from climing into the front seat. Ellie likes to stick her head over ours and watch the road or me driving. I usually sneak her a little snack if whatever I'm eating is dog friendly.
3. Pack collapsible bowls for food and water. I also carry bottled with me so that I don't have to stop at gas stations when I need a drink or when I Ellie needs some water.
4. Map out dog parks along the way to give yourself and your pup a break from the car. This is especially important if you're making a long trip by yourself. I know it's tempting to just try and push through to get to wherever you're going faster, but you definitley need to give yourself a break, and your pup will appreciate the potty breaks.
5. Get a long lasting chew toy for your pup and wait to give it to them until they are driving you crazy. When they start to get restless, you can chuck the chew toy in the back with them and they will leave you alone for at least an hour. Protip, stuff a few kong toys the night before and throw them in the freezer, then keep them in your cold food cooler until you're ready to give them to your dog.
6. If you've got a nervous traveler, pack a thundershirt or put it on them before you go. Last Christmas I put Ellies on her before we hit the road, and I'm glad we did because about 4 hours into our trip we hit a major thunderstorm and she would have been an anxious mess if it weren't for the thundershirt providing her with constant comfort.
Shop my car essentials for dogs below!