When you adopt a dog, you’re not just a dad to your kids, you’re a dad to your dog, too. If you’re planning to take the entire family out on a road trip this winter, including the dog, it’s important that you keep everyone save and cozy in the vehicle. We have some essential road trip safety tips for dog owners that you’ll need while taking on the highway to your destination.
Secure Your Precious Cargo
You may hate putting your dog in a cage when in the car, but it’s a mandatory step during a long road trip. Road trips aren’t like the usual car rides for your dog—they’re long and full of unexpected events. Even if your children beg you to keep the pooch in the backseat, protect your dog by letting him lay down in his portable kennel. If anything happens during the ride and an accident occurs, the dog will be more secure in the kennel than loose in the car—car accidents of any size are scary for dogs and may cause them to run away.
Take Breaks Often
Dogs may need more fresh air while in a vehicle than they do at home, so take breaks at rest stops more often than you would without the dog. Walk him around on a leash and let him do his business so he doesn’t make a mess in your car. Needing to break more often will tack more hours onto the drive, but it’s worth it to keep your dog happy.
Research Dog-Friendly Hotels Before You Leave
It’s always a good idea to have concrete stopping points along your road trip route during a multi-day trip, but you need to go the extra mile for Fido. Make sure you look for hotels that specify they’re dog or pet-friendly and don’t leave it to chance. Hotels may be booked to capacity along the way for any reason—if there aren’t many dog-friendly hotels along your route, consider booking ahead.
Never Leave the Dog Alone in the Car
Just like in a parking lot at home, one of the most important road trip safety tips for dog owners is to remember to never leave the dog alone in a parked car. Whether it’s bitter cold or extremely hot, leaving your pup in a parked car without heat or air conditioning for any amount of time is irresponsible. If the car isn’t running, don’t leave your dog or your child in the vehicle.
Know Your Dog’s Limits
Before you take the dog with you on a road trip, make sure they can handle shorter car rides first. If you know that your dog can’t handle the car, you may need to consider leaving them behind with a pet sitter or a trusted dog boarding service. It’s better to keep your dog safe at home rather than risk bringing them with you.