Dogs are hugely popular in America and 36.5% of American households have one. When vacation time rolls around, owners always debate whether to bring their beloved dog along or not.
From an emotional point of view the decision is easy. Why would anyone deprive their children of the unconditional love a dog provides? From a more practical point of view, however, the idea of bringing a four-legged friend on a road trip is terrifying for many owners.
Surely, bringing a dog along will cost more and incur hassle? Like with many things, this so-called truth may not hold up in the light of day. Boarding costs in America are between $25 and $45 a night which adds up very quickly. If you want to save this money, you need to know how to prepare to road trip with a dog.
Start Well in Advance
As with anything, your dog thrives on familiarity. Crate travel is the safest option for your dog, so it is vital that they are used to, and comfortable, with spending time within a specially-designed and safe crate. Take the time to familiarize your dog with the crate, reward him for spending time in it and avoid using it as a punishment. The more positive experiences he associates with the crate, the easier it will be to get him used to using it.
Before going on your road trip make sure that every trip you take your dog on, even just to the shops, involves the crate. It is one thing to be used to the crate, it is quite another when it is in a vehicle.
Plan Your Rest Stops Carefully
It is vital that you build in plenty of rest stops, not just for you, but for your dog too. Think of your family as having gained a new child; you can’t just stop, pee and dash anymore – your dog will need an opportunity to burn off some energy and have fun, just like kids do. Comfort breaks will simply need to be longer and will require more than a bush by the side of the road to hide behind.
Where Are You Going to Sleep
Where to spend the night is a big question on any trip. Being shackled by the need to find a motel or hotel along the way can really put a dampener on the afternoon of a trip. When you add in the worry that you will also need to ensure that any hotels along your route are dog-friendly, it just seems like a recipe for unneeded stress.
Vacationing in an RV removes many of these worries. RVs allow you to bring your home along with you. The children and dog all have familiar surroundings every night and you only need look for a parking space. Bringing an RV can also save you a substantial amount of money along the way on motel and diner bills.
Remember to Have A Dog Aid Kit
New parents learn quickly that their little bundles of joy require more bags and equipment than they could have ever imagined. Having a dog on a long trip is much the same. Make sure you have seat covers, towels, tweezers, wet wipes and a collapsible bowl with you at all times. Do not assume that your destination will have anything you need. If your pet needs a specialist diet then bring enough along for a significant portion of your journey.
Finally, Prepare for The Worst
It is vital that you get your dog vaccinated and chipped. You will be going to strange and unfamiliar places, so ensure that if your dog gets distracted, or attacked you’ve maximize your chances of it pulling through or being returned to you. But most of all, remember the trip is supposed to be fun for both you and the dog.
Happy Trails from all of us at Pro-Train Innovative Dog Training. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions related to Summer Travel. Need your dog trained before a big (or small) trip this Summer? Our trained professionals can have your dog ready for your adventures in as little as two weeks!