Road trips can be enjoyable for everyone in the family, including the pet dog. However, if you plan on bringing your canine companion along for a lengthy road trip, you should take preparatory measures to ensure the ride is comfortable for both you and your dog. Here are some suggestions:

Start Early.

Give you and your dog at least three weeks time prior to the trip to develop the habits necessary for a safe and stress-free road trip. During this time, you will need to practice activities that will help get your dog acclimated to the road trip experience, before you set off on your adventure.

Take Short Trips in the Car before the Long Trip.

Make it a point to end these trips at some place fun, like a dog park, as opposed to someplace stress-inducing, like the vets. This will enable your dog to get a feel for what it’s like riding in the car on a family vacation, as well as get familiarized with the dog seat and/or seat belt you plan on using.

Teach your Dog to have Bowel Movements in unfamiliar Places.

Whether you are aware of it or not, your dog most likely only feels comfortable having bowel movements in those places that you frequent on a regular basis. Some dogs are so put off by the idea of “going” in an unfamiliar place that they will hold it in indefinitely, in the process making themselves vulnerable to health complications (not to mention a lot of discomfort). Make it a point to visit a variety of new and different places with your dogs during the weeks leading up to the trip, and don’t leave until your dog has done his dirty work.

Ask your vet about Medications.

Tell your vet about your road trip plans and ask for recommendations when it comes to motion sickness and the possible need for sedatives (if your dog is unbearably anxious during the ride). You may end up not having to use them, but you should still be prepared, just in case. Make sure you have any other PetSupplies you need on hand as well.

Plan for Stops.

While mapping out your route, give some consideration to how often your dog will need to stop to not only use the bathroom, but also to get some energy out. It’s a good idea to look for dog parks or other pet-friendly areas along the way where you can stop and take Fido for a short walk.

You can take your dog on an extended road trip and have a great time doing it. You’ll just have to do some prep work first. Follow all of these steps to ensure your dog is properly prepared for your travel plans.