While I had been on a small road trip with dogs before, that was only an 8-hour drive. I’m sure to some of you and your dogs, that would be an eternity to be cooped up in a car!
Recently, I took two of my dogs on a 10,000+ mile road trip across the United States and Canada, with our end destination being Alaska.
For the majority of these days, we were so happy and lucky that we were staying with My Place Hotels. They are a pet-loving hotel chain that welcomed us and our pups with open arms! After a while, I could tell my pets felt like they were at home when we would get to our rooms.
Here are a few tips about road tripping with dogs that I hope can help you during your next adventure with your furry friend!
BE PREPARED TO STOP
If we are normally traveling on a road trip with no dogs, we go up to seven hours straight, or whenever we run out of gas, before stopping. While this is occasionally okay for humans (though I do recommend not getting dehydrated!), chances are that your pup will want to use the bathroom and stretch their legs. To keep them happy, I would recommend stopping at least every 3-4 hours. Obviously, this will vary by dogs, but each 3-4 hours we stop for at least 20 minutes.
BRING TOYS OR CHEW BONES
If you are on a long car ride, your dog is going to likely get bored. Bringing along their favorite toy can help to pass the time. Do keep in mind that if their toy makes noise, you will be trapped in a car with it. Another great option is to bring along new chew toys. My pets are always so excited for these that nothing can take away their attention!
PREPARE FOR EXERCISE
If you are on a long road trip, your pet will likely be sitting a lot or asleep. To make sure that they get to stretch their legs and stay healthy, plan exercise stops. We would do some research to find any dog parks that we could along the way to let our pets stop and play. If no dog park was around, we had retractable leashes so that we could easily run with our dogs and let them chase their toys. Letting them exercise will also tire them out for the car, and they will likely sleep!
EATING AND DRINKING
If you are letting your dogs out for regular exercise, they are going to get thirsty. We have these awesome collapsable bowls that are perfect for on the go from Overland Dog Gear. Before getting back into the car after a stop, we would give our dogs plenty of time to drink some water. This goes along with stopping every 3-4 hours because your pets will likely need a bathroom break after the water!
Eating can be a little tricky. Some pets, unfortunately, get car sick. This is something that you will want to talk to your vet about, as there are some medicines that can be helpful. My pets generally did not want to eat in the car, so we tried to make sure that they would eat of a morning before we took off, and of an evening when we got to our destination.
PET FRIENDLY HOTELS
As I mentioned previously, we were lucky to stay with My Place Hotels throughout our journey. I’ve stayed at other pet-friendly hotels before with no pets around anywhere! I was so happy to see other dogs in the hallways with their owners and outside in the pet areas. This really made us feel welcome! Be sure not to take advantage of pet-friendly hotels, and to always follow any rules they have. They are nice enough to provide a comfortable place for you and your pet, so please be respectful!
PREPARE FOR EMERGENCIES
Hopefully, this isn’t something that you have to deal with, but better to be safe! Bringing simple things such as tweezers, any medications your dog needs, wound cleaner, etc, is something that can help you to be prepared. You can also know of any local vet offices in case you were to need them!
All in all, I have had a great experience traveling the country with my pets. They make great travel companions and are happy to be along for the ride!