Whilst some dogs love car rides, Ember included, some dogs struggle with being in the car for a long period of time. If, in your judgement, your dog would enjoy a road trip with you, here’s some tips I have collected to make travelling with your dog an enjoyable and safe experience.
1. Take breaks
This is a given, toilet breaks are a must for most humans, so of course they are a necessity for dogs. A leg stretch is also a welcome break for dogs too, no one likes sitting in a car for hours on end.
2. Don’t leave them in the car
Again, this is a must. If you stop for a break, or to grab something to eat, find somewhere with an outdoor space so you can bring your dog too.
3. ID Tag
There are so many awesome ID tags around, invest in a good quality one for when you travel and make sure your dog is wearing it at all times, the last thing you want to do is get separated. I also made sure my mobile number is on Ember’s tag too, so it’s super easy to get in contact.
4. A good travel bowl
Travel bowls is another no brainer for traveling. We have a water bottle and bowl duo and a collapsible bowl for food. They are super easy to store in the car and pull out when needed and the water bottle doesn’t leak either. Ruffwear also have some awesome matching ones.
5. Let them have a designated space in the car
Ember’s space is always in the back, on the left side behind the driver, it’s just always been her space. She’s pretty good at staying still and a seatbelt is a must, but stay training also comes in handy if she does try to creep into the front. She also has a toy which she associates with her seat.
6. A comfy blanket to lay on
Ember has a special car blanket, which she also associates with her space in the car. Not only does the blanket make the trip comfortable, it also makes sure the car seats don’t get muddy or covered in fur. The blanket will also ensure seats don’t get too hot in the sun!
7. Food and Treats
The general rule is to feed an hour before you travel, so we don’t tend to feed Ember when we’re on the road. However, if we plan to stop somewhere for a longer period time, we take a bit for Ember to eat. Snack bars/bones are also pretty useful, like these from Lily’s Kitchen or Trip Bones from Guru.
8. Car tested harness
For safety reasons it’s always best to keep your dog restrained when you are in the car. This ensures they won’t be a distraction to the driver and also ensures they are safe should anything happen. Kurgo have a great crash tested strong harness.
9. Don’t open the windows
It’s never been safe to let your dog stick their head out of the window. I’ve seen so many videos of dogs jumping out of open car windows and it’s horrible to watch. In car air-con or the window open a crack is a much better option.