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Road Trip With Your Dog: Everything You Should Know

While road trips can be a fun experience for you and your dog, they require good planning to succeed. Here, our Fort Collins vets will discuss going on a cross-country road trip with your dog, how to prepare and what to do if your dog doesn't like traveling.

Traveling With Dogs in the Car for a Long Distance

A well-socialized and confident dog who enjoys new experiences and car rides will likely thrive on a well-planned road trip. Just pack all the essentials and make frequent stops for potty breaks. You can also stop for some exercise to keep your dog happy on the journey.

What to Do to Prepare for a Road Trip

First, make sure your dog is up to date on vaccinations. We also recommend a microchip in case they get lost. Pack plenty of food, water, toys, and bedding to keep it comfortable during the journey. You will also want to plan for frequent stops.

How Often to Stop While on a Road Trip With a Dog

Every two to three hours, you should stop the car to allow your dog to stretch their legs, go to the bathroom, and stay hydrated. Regular breaks will also help prevent discomfort and restlessness during the journey.

Should you bring your pup on a practice road trip?

Before you try going on a road trip, you should bring your dog on some car rides that last for a few hours. Considering we recommend taking a break every two to three hours, this is a good length for a practice trip. This will help prepare your furry friend for the extended time in the car during your journey.

It also enables you to catch any potential problems and deal with them proactively, ensuring a smoother journey during your actual road trip. For example, your dog could get car sick, so you may need to plan for more frequent stops or bring medication to help alleviate their symptoms.

Securing Your Dog for the Roadtrip

You should never drive with your dog loose. Dogs can easily distract drivers, and an accident can launch them out of your vehicle and endanger both you and them.

Ideally, your dog will travel in a crate appropriate for their size, strapped in with a seatbelt. While you may have heard of other options like a dog car seat or seatbelt, these options are not recommended as they don't provide the same security as a crate.

What to Do if Your Dog Doesn't Like Roadtrips

Some dogs dislike being in cars. While it can be hard to leave them behind, their safety and comfort should always be your top priority.

If you need to leave your pup for any reason, you have a few options. You can leave them with a trusted family friend or hire a professional dog sitter to stay at your house and look after them.

You can also leave them with us. At South Mesa Veterinary Hospital, we offer boarding services for dogs of all breeds and sizes. Your dog will get their kennel, frequent walks, breakfast and dinner, and supervised playtime with our staff and other dogs.

Our experienced staff will ensure that your furry friend is well taken care of and receives the attention they deserve while you are away. Rest assured that your dog will be in good hands at our facility.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Looking for a safe place for your dog to stay while you go away? Contact our Fort Collins animal hospital to book them in for boarding.

New Patients Welcome

South Mesa Veterinary Hospital is accepting new patients to our veterinary hospital! Our team is passionate about the health of Fort Collins pets. Reach out today to book your pet's first appointment.

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