What better way to explore the open road than by bringing your pup along for all the adventures? Embarking on a road trip with man’s best friend in tow can be a great way to travel while training your dog to acclimate to new environments. You may be skeptical as to whether your pup can handle extended hours on the road without ripping up the car seats or making a break for it, but these tips might make it easier to keep your canine happy and healthy on any road tripping expedition.
Before sticking your dog in the car, it is always a good idea to walk them or engage them in some sort of exercise to release any pent-up energy or anxiety. Remember, a tired dog is a happy dog! Additionally, you shouldn’t feed them an exuberant amount of treats before embarking—this can make them susceptible to stomach problems, car sickness, and can make the poor thing more ornery. Feeding them and then exercising afterward to tire them out will make your pup more receptive to spending hours in a compact space. Furthermore, it will get rid of the temptation to medicate your dog with a sedative—you don’t want to create a pattern of relying on medication for your pup to be calm when it can be avoided.
The Crate Is Your Friend
Since the cutie will be in a car, it is generally a good idea to crate them to minimize distractions for you while you drive. Crating your pup also protects them from becoming airborne if you stop too fast or get in an accident. If you do decide to crate your pup, it is advisable to stay positive and upbeat. Do not act sullen and speak in the “sad mommy voice.” They will immediately detect that something is wrong and become anxious. Instead, be calm, assertive, and jovial. Reassure your pup that everything is okay. Coax them into the crate with positive affirmations and let them walk in on their own—do not force them. If you treat the crate like it’s a prison, so will your dog.
Take Walking Breaks Often
Use each rest stop as an opportunity to walk or play with your pup and let them stretch out their paws. Bring their favorite toys along to increase comfort and familiarity. When your dog is introduced to new environments and smells, they will likely get a little rowdy—this is normal and expected. Remain calm and assertive and let them know that things are okay.
As more and more facilities begin to be dog-friendly, the option of traveling with your pup becomes increasingly enticing. Hitting the road with your right-hand pup at your side can be an excellent way to teach strengthen your bond and make some unforgettable memories.
Reach Out to the Team at Walk! ATX
Not all dogs are created equal and some lack the proper basic training that a long road trip necessitates. At Walk! ATX, we’re here to help! If you need support or guidance in training your pup to behave in new environments or simply need a pet-sitter while away traveling, don’t hesitate to contact our team at (512) 655-9557. We have the resources to help your pup be the best they can be so that your adventures together are limitless!