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5 Tips for an Epic Road Trip with Your Dog

Is there anything better than the windows rolled down and the radio playing while you’re cruising the open road with friends? Add your pup to the mix and you have the pawfect adventure. Dogs love visiting new places filled with new scents and people to pet them and the DC metropolitan area is centrally located for quick weekend getaways. We’ve put together a list of five tips so you and your pup can have an epic road trip.


1. Be prepared

No one likes to think of bad things happening on a fun trip, but it’s always best to be prepared in case you and your pup are separated or there is a medical emergency. Keep a copy of your dog’s vaccination records with you when you travel. This will come in handy if you need to visit a vet on your travels. Also some hotels require a copy if a dog is staying overnight. If your dog is micro-chipped, it is a great idea to have your pup’s chip number and the phone number to call in emergencies with you. It’s an easy contact to add to your phone’s contacts so you always have it accessible.


2. Make frequent stops

Being cooped up in a car, especially if there’s traffic, is not always fun for humans, but for a dog who is used to being active a long drive can be unbearable. If you are going on a long drive, try to stop every 2 hours or so for a break. Highway rest stops often have patches of grass your dog can take advantage of. Sometimes the best places can be found when you pull off the highway at a random exit to look for somewhere for your pup to stretch his legs.


3. Hydrate

Make sure your dog is regularly drinking water. Since your pup is either in the car or exploring a new place on your trip, it is unlikely he will have constant access to water like he does at home. Avoid dehydration by carrying a travel water bowl and bottled water so he can drink throughout the day. If your dog is panting, that is often a sign that they need a drink of water.

4. Restrain your dog

Safety first should be the mantra on your trip. In the event of the car stopping short or a sharp turn, unrestrained dogs can quickly be hurt falling off the seat or being thrown against the side of the car. Also, just like humans, during an accident dogs can quickly become projectiles and be thrown from the car. To avoid injuries, it is a good idea to restrain your pup with a harness/seat belt or in a secured crate.


5. Bring familiar things for overnight stays

Adventure is fun, but dogs also love being surrounded by familiar scents. Bring some of your dog’s favorite toys so he can play with his regular things in a new place. If possible, bring his bed or favorite blanket his regularly sleeps in with you for overnight stays. Familiar things and scents can help your pup quickly adjust to spending a night in new surroundings.


If you have any questions about our tips, send us an email at info@wethedogsdc.org.


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