In the summertime, with nice weather and bright blue skies, there’s nothing better than hitting the open road. After all, who doesn’t enjoy driving with the top down, blasting their favorite music, and letting the wind blow through their hair?
If you’re going to be doing a lot of driving this summer, you might think about taking a road trip. It’s a great way to see some new places, try new foods and spend some time on the road.
If you’re looking for a different sort of road trip this summer, consider taking your dog with you. It’s often said that dog is man’s best friend and the numbers back that up since there are an estimated 70 million pet dogs in the United States alone. Road trips can be a blast and with your furry friend at your side, they become much more fun.
So what’s the best way to road trip with a dog? By following these tips, you can make the most of your trip and have while you do it:
Pack Everything You Need
On any trip, it’s important to pack everything you need, but it’s even more important with a dog. If you’re going to be road-tripping for a while, make sure you’ve got a bed for your dog, as well as food, water and water bowls, a leash, up-to-date ID tags, toys, and even bathroom bags. After all, your dog is your traveling companion on this trip and you need to make sure they’re taken care of.
Go To The Vet
Before a road trip, it’s typical to get your car checked out and in ship shape. The best way to road trip with a dog involves something similar: a trip to the vet. Before a road trip, make sure your dog is up to date on their vaccinations and meds. You might also want to get your dog microchipped, just in case.
Even if your dog is potty trained, you need to make sure you take breaks on your trip. Find rest areas to stretch your legs, allow your dog to stretch, and let it go to the bathroom. Stopping periodically will also allow you to give your dog some water and maybe a little bit of food depending on its feeding schedule.
Do Some Planning
If you’re going to need accommodations during your journey, look at pet-centric websites for pet-friendly hotels and restaurants. If you’re a dog owner, you’ve more than likely seen plenty of signs on stores, restaurants, and housing that say, “No Pets Allowed.”
There are pet-friendly places you can go, you just have to know where to look. But knowing where to look is the key. You can’t just assume that a store or a restaurant will acquiesce to the fact you have a dog and you don’t want to create problems for yourself if you bring your dog into a place it’s not allowed.
Having your pooch along on a road trip can be a blast, but the best way to road trip with a dog—and the safest—is to make sure to drive safely. You want to make sure to stay focused and avoid drinking and driving at all costs. It’s not a good idea to do it anyway, so don’t do it with a dog in the car.
It’s especially important to be careful on the road because you want to make sure you and your furry friend stay safe. A personal injury attorney can do a lot to help you should you find yourself involved in a car accident, but you can avoid accidents altogether by paying attention, keeping your eyes on the road and being aware of what’s going on around you.
How can you keep yourself and your dog safe? Many an accident attorney recommends some of the following steps, especially for those doing a lot of driving:
- Check traffic conditions before you take off
- Take breaks if you’re feeling tired behind the wheel
- Stay connected; you might be traveling, but you need to let folks close to you know where you are
- Choose safe lodging accommodations
- Have important documents close by and up-to-date
Review Your Insurance
Having up-to-date car insurance is an absolute must on a road trip. But before you hit the road, take time to review your policy and what all you’re covered for. You may find yourself in a spot where you need a rental car, so it pays to have car insurance that covers the cost of a rental. You may find yourself locked out of your car, so having locksmith service as part of your play really comes in handy.
Consider An Auto Loan
There’s no one best way to road trip with a dog, but one of the most fun ways is to drive in style. If you think it’s time to get a new car, apply for an auto loan and see what your options are. You may just find the used car of your dreams that’s perfect for the road trip you’re going to take with your furry friend.
Before you buy anything, do your homework. Check the history of a vehicle you’re interested in, check pricing and make sure you have financing and insurance taken care of. With keys to a new car, you and your dog can take off without a care in the world.
Try To Be Healthy
It’s easy to be tempted by junk food and eating out all the time on a road trip. After all, it’s a vacation and you want to enjoy yourself. But it doesn’t hurt to be a little healthy. If you’re hungry while you’re driving, munch on some dried fruit or trail mix. At the end of each day of traveling, practice good dental care and clean your teeth good by brushing, flossing and using mouth wash.
Odds are you’re going to be getting plenty of exercise while exploring and walking your dog, but by brushing your teeth and eating some healthy snacks, you can ensure that you stay healthy on your vacation.
Give Your Dog Some Space
The best way to road trip with a dog is to make sure that they’re comfortable. Even if your dog is a good rider, they’re probably not used to doing it for three or four hours at a time. You can make the trip much easier for them by giving them their own space in the car.
You don’t want to pack your dog in tight like it’s a can of sardines. The more space you can give them, the more comfortable they’re going to be. The more comfortable they are, the easier it is for them to behave.
Don’t Forget Treats
Just because your dog is traveling, doesn’t mean you can’t reward them for good behavior. As any dog owner will attest, it’s much easier to travel with a well-behaved dog. One of the best ways to get your dog to behave on a long road trip is to reward your dog with treats. For example: if your dog jumps in the van when you’re getting back on the road, give them a treat. If your dog goes to the bathroom during a pit stop, give them a treat. If your dog eats their food and sits back without begging for more, give them a treat.
If you’re traveling during the summer, the best way to road trip with a dog is to keep them hydrated. Give them plenty of water, keep them cool and maybe reward them with a doggie ice cream after a day of traveling. If you really want to keep them cool, you can freeze dog treats to give them a cool snack while you’re driving to your next destination.
Don’t Leave Your Dog Alone
Again, if you’re traveling during the dog days of summer, the best way to road trip with a dog is to make sure you never leave them in the car. Whether you know it or not, your car can get deathly hot on a summer day and very fast at that. Be aware of the temperature and don’t leave your dog unattended for long. If you absolutely have to, crack the windows and run a portable fan if you have one.
Be Aware Of Your Surroundings
In the summertime, the best way to road trip with a dog and really enjoy nature is to spend some time camping.
Camping is a great way to spend time with your dog—not to mention a great way for them to get some exercise by going for walks. But while you’re camping, you need to be aware of the wildlife around you. If there are animals such as bears or deer in the area, you don’t want your dog taking off after them or barking non-stop. That’s a surefire way to draw the ire of your fellow campers.
Safety Is Paramount
Suppose you’re traveling to Michigan on your road trip and you plan on doing some adventuring in the Great Lakes state. One way you can really explore is with an all-terrain vehicle or ATV. If you’re looking to rent one, you can visit ATV dealers in Michigan to see about renting one and believe it or not, you can take your dog for a ride on one.
Before you go off-roading through, it’s important to put safety first and make sure your dog isn’t in danger. Your best bet is to crate your dog and make sure the crate is secure. You don’t want your dog getting loose, jumping from the ATV and potentially getting hurt. A good crate will keep your dog safe and secure and you can use tie downs to secure the crate to an ATV.
The same attention to detail must also be followed if you take your dog snowmobiling. If you visit an Arctic Cat dealer and rent a snowmobile, there are many ways you can take your dog with you. With UTVs and ATVs, for example, you can crate your dog and then secure the crate to a snowmobile; you can also have your dog sit in your lap; you can even pull an enclosed sleigh behind the snowmobile.
Bottom line: the best way to road trip with a dog is to keep them safe. If you do go snowmobiling with your pooch, take things slow and try to avoid bumps and quick turns. Remember: a safe dog is a happy dog.
Helping Your Dog And Yourself
Road tripping with a dog and keeping them safe is your top priority during a road trip. But even the most careful people can have accidents. In the event that your dog gets injured on your road trip, consult a personal injury law firm. If your pet is injured or killed in a car accident, you may be entitled to appropriate compensation to cover things like vet bills.
The same thing applies to you if you’re involved in a car accident. Whether you find yourself with a slight injury or a life-altering one, personal injury attorneys can review your case and help you get a fair settlement that can help you cover medical bills or other expenses if you miss time from work.
Expand Your Horizons
Obviously you want to take care of yourself and your pet during a road trip, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have fun. If you’re headed to places you’ve never been before, make the most of your trip. Stop along the way at sites and attractions you find interesting. Eat at new restaurants and try new foods. Take in the beauty of nature with a scenic drive or a long walk. Find activities that your pet will enjoy to make it even more memorable for them.
Road trips can be some of the best trips you ever take and with your beloved dog by your side, you can make it your most memorable trip ever. When it comes to finding the best way to road trip with a dog, the sky is the limit, so make it fun, make it exciting and make it unforgettable.