How To Prepare Your Dog For A Road Trip

To have a smooth road trip with your dog you need to make most of the effort before they ever get in the car. By taking the proper steps beforehand you’ll have a relaxed dog, which makes the ride safer and less stressful for everyone involved.

Car rides can be a lot of fun for your dog and by bringing them with you it’s possible to forge a strong bond on the road. Here’s how to prepare your dog for that long car ride ahead.

Drain Their Energy!

A constant theme you’ll find in my advice for traveling with dogs is that you need to drain their energy before you put them in a stimulating situation. A car is full of smells, sights, and excitement for a dog and the more tired they are the easier it is for them to focus that energy on the experience itself. You don’t want your dog chewing the door handles, licking your face, or running back and forth in the back seat.

Take your dog for a long walk or run and feed them before you get in the car. Really get them tired so they won’t try to expend that energy while you’re trying to drive a car for hours on end.

Consider The Time Of Day

Dogs, like humans, are diurnal creatures meaning that they’re active during the day and sleepy at night. You can take advantage of their body clocks and schedule most of your driving at night if possible. Your dog will already be in a resting state and will probably sleep most of the ride. Of course this can be taxing on you as a driver so be sure to maintain your concentration by keeping the temperature cool, consuming caffeine, or switching the driving duties with a partner.

Never drive if you feel drowsy or are too tired to keep your own focus on the road.

Time For A New Bone

Once you’ve got your road trip plans set, it’s time to head to a pet store and buy a new bone, like a chicken flavored rawhide, that your dog hasn’t chewed before (or in a long time), preferably flavored. The best are bones or chew toys with a small amount of peanut butter in them like peanut butter flavored rawhide twists. The new chew bone will keep your dog from getting bored and they’ll wear themselves out from all the chewing.

Give the new bone to your dog once they are in the car and calm.

Work Before The Trip, Not During

Most of the problems you’ll encounter on the road with your dog can be prevented before you ever get in the car. It’s important to drain their energy with a long walk or run and keep them entertained during the ride. Some cardiovascular activity before a long road trip will perk you up too and a calm dog will be less of a distraction. Both good things if you want to cover a lot of ground fast.

Finally, if you can work with your dog’s natural body rhythms and travel at night you’ll avoid other drivers and traffic which will reduce your stress. Your dog will feed off of your relaxed disposition and when you set off on your next trip it will be an excellent bonding experience.

[photos by: smellyknee]

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Dalma July 8, 2011 at 18:02

What kind of dog the brown? I want this kind of dog:)


Anil P. July 9, 2011 at 12:52

Good question, I’m not sure though you can ask the photographer:


Leave a Comment

Next post: