Preparing for the road

Preparing for the road

Golden Retrievers strike a pose together at Dogtopia Meadowvale

Trips out of town are always full of fun and relaxation! But whether it’s your first trip or your 50th trip out of town with your dog, you might be wondering what’s the big secret to making the drive out of town fun and relaxing. With these tips, going on trips will be a breeze!

Timing is everything

How long will you be out on the road with your dog? Will you be spending a day out of town and coming home, or will you be bunking down for a few nights somewhere? Thinking about how much time you will be out of town may put a big burden on your shoulders, but this is where your check list starts.

  • Food: How many times a day does your dog eat? Separating your dog’s food into labeled containers for each meal you’re out of town together will help you keep track of whether they’ve eaten or not. If your dog eats breakfast and dinner, and you’re on the road together from Friday mid-day to Sunday night, pack five baggies of his food and label it for each meal time. If you’re expected to be home in the afternoon, prepare an extra bag just in case that drive home doesn’t go as planned. Don’t forget to pack some treats!
  • Car comfort: How comfortable is your dog in the car? While it’s possible to get a dog-friendly car, it can be costly. So how will you be able to drive when you have a restless dog in tow? Taking your dog on a walk prior to getting in the car can get them tired, help cut back on any potential anxiety and also ensure that any bathroom business is taken care of, especially for long drives.
  • Bedtime business: Bringing along toys and bedding from home can give your dog a sense of comfort so he doesn’t get stressed out before bedtime. If you’re heading out for a long drive, it’s best to think of what could keep him comfortable for the long trip in the car. Find a dog crate that’s suitable for their size – too big could get your pup bouncing everywhere, but too small can be too cramped – and fastening your dog’s crate to the car will prevent any uncomfortable rocking whenever you hit uneven road.
  • Vaccinations and preventatives: Will your dog have to be on any preventatives for where you’re going? Are they up to date on their vaccinations?
  • Comfort level around people/environment: Is your dog good with people or enjoys the great outdoors? Exposing your dog to these things a few days prior to your trip will help him get more accustomed to the environment so it’ll cut back on any potential stress.

With careful planning, you and your dog will have a fun-filled vacation waiting ahead!

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