A ROAD TRIP FIT FOR THE DOGS
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”|Robert Frost
I speak for my fellow dog friends that now is the perfect time to hit the road with our owners. Your owner has no excuse being they are working from home and have no vacation plans on the horizon. After the year of comfort, support and friendship we’ve all provided as canines, we deserve an adventure. What better way for us to social distance and create fun memories together than on a road trip. I’ll have the wind in my fur, my best friend by my side and get to experience things I never have before.
As your best friend, there are a few things you need to keep in mind before hitting the road with me. With the right planning, tools and forethought, you’ll be able to make sure I’m not only safe and happy, but you’ll be able to have more peace of mind during the trip.
Before deciding a route, make sure your owner researches which national parks, campgrounds, trails, Airbnb and hotels are dog friendly. Be respectful of the rules, clean up after me and follow leash laws for everyone’s safety. Look into boarding, doggy day care options or services like Rover if your owner is doing any activities that don’t include you. Be understanding of any anxious behavior I have while on the road, motion sickness, and do a few trial rides before heading to our long-distance destination. This will take the stress out of it and make sure we both have fun.
Reminders For Owners
If your dog has any health issues, make sure to touch base with your vet before starting our adventure and have any medications on hand. Being the most well behaved dogs can sometimes get a little too crazy off leash, make sure I have up to date tags, with current phone numbers, including any information that might be associated with a microchip. Make sure us dogs have our own space and room we need to move around, stretch, and sleep comfortably. Depending on the vehicle your owner has, make sure to use it’s storage smartly. Consider investing in helpful options like travel coolers, tent attachments, gear organizers, camper additions, storage options like GMC truck drawers, bike racks, or other storage systems that will help your owner stay organized along the way.
Stick With My Favorites
Since I will be out of my routine and in a new environment, bring treats along for me so that I can be rewarded for good behavior. My favorite toys and bones will help me stay occupied on the road and make me feel more at home. Always make sure I have access to water. There are many great stable choices for us dogs these days that can be on the floor and won’t make a mess. Bring my regular food along to avoid stomach issues and try to stick to my regular feeding routine.
Prepare And Plan Ahead
While every owner is eager to get to their destination, make sure you give me plenty of bathroom breaks in a safe area I can explore during my walks. While I’m excited about this trip, it’s also out of my comfort zone, so be patient with me. Expert Cesar Millan says to give dogs a 15-30 break at least every four hours. When my owner researches where dog parks are on our route, it makes me so happy. I can let off steam, make new friends, and run free. Outside Magazine warns owners to be cautious at gas station stops, as gasoline, oil, antifreeze, and other hazardous liquids are present, which I could accidentally ingest.
When staying in a hotel with me, make sure your owner brings your dog bed or collapsible crate from home. It will provide security for me and be a safe place for me in the transitions. While we don’t mean to be messy, it’s inevitable to happen. Make sure to bring a few towels, pet-friendly wet wipes, or invest in a seat cover to protect your owner’s vehicle. Always be respectful and clean up my poop; it’s the kind thing to do. Finally, most important, never leave me in a hot car. Keep in mind windows I could get out of and consider temperature changes that affect me. Truck beds are not always a safe option, so plan our stops accordingly.
By sticking to my routine, listening to my cues, and planning ahead, our road trip can be one for the books. Plus, you know my cute face will help boost your social media stats. The world is our oyster just waiting to be enjoyed. Charles Schultz couldn’t have said it better, “In life, it’s not where you go, it’s who you travel with.” Your memories with me will be cherished forever, and I am truly the best co-pilot you could ask for.
Original Guest Blog By Erica Adams, The Constant Rambler, 2021, https://www.theconstantrambler.com/rambling-rants/road-trip-fit-dogs/