Embarking on a road trip with your dog can be a fun and rewarding experience. However, being prepared and considerate of your dog's needs is important. Today, our Rochester vets will discuss going on a cross-country road trip with your dog and what you need to know beforehand.

Traveling With Dogs in the Car for a Long Distance

A well-socialized and confident dog who enjoys new experiences and car rides will likely thrive on a well-planned road trip. Just pack all the essentials and make frequent stops for potty breaks. You can also stop for some exercise to keep your dog happy on the journey.

What to Do to Prepare for a Road Trip

First, make sure your dog is up to date on vaccinations. We also recommend a microchip in case they get lost. Pack plenty of food, water, toys, and bedding to keep it comfortable during the journey. Additionally, plan frequent stops for bathroom breaks.

How Often to Stop While on a Road Trip With a Dog

We recommend stopping every two to three hours to allow your dog to stretch their legs, go to the bathroom, and stay hydrated. Regular breaks will also help prevent discomfort and restlessness during the journey.

Are practice road trips a good idea?

Before embarking on a road trip with your dog, it's important to acclimate them to long car rides by taking a few test drives that last a couple of hours. Considering we recommend taking a break every two to three hours, this is a good length for a practice trip. This will help prepare your furry friend for the extended time in the car during your journey.

It also enables you to catch any potential problems and deal with them proactively, ensuring a smoother journey during your actual road trip. For example, your dog could get car sick, so you may need to plan for more frequent stops or bring medication to help alleviate their symptoms.

How should I secure my dog in the vehicle?

You should never drive with your dog loose. Dogs can easily distract drivers, and an accident can launch them out of your vehicle and endanger both you and them.

Ideally, your dog will travel in a crate appropriate for their size, strapped in with a seatbelt. If a crate is impossible, a dog car seat is the next best solution. Just bear in mind that they are not as safe as crates.

Dog seat belts should be last on your list. They offer little protection and can still launch your dog in a crash.

What if my dog doesn't like road trips?

Some dogs don't like being in the car. While it may be disheartening to leave them behind, their safety and comfort should always be your top priority.

If you need to leave your pup for any reason, there are a few options. You can leave them with a trusted family friend or hire a professional dog sitter to stay at your house to look after them.

You can also leave them with us. At Ridgemont Animal Hospital, we offer boarding services for dogs of all breeds and sizes. Your dog will get their own kennel, frequent walks, breakfast and dinner, and supervised playtime with our staff and other dogs.

Our experienced staff will ensure that your furry friend is well taken care of and receives the attention they deserve while you are away. Rest assured that your dog will be in good hands at our facility.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Are you looking for a safe and fun place for your dog to stay while you are away? Contact our Rochester animal hospital to schedule their boarding visit today.