Anyone that has one – or more than one – dog, knows how hard it can be to go on vacation. You have to find someone to take care of your dog, housesit – or even worse – the dreaded kennel. The best solution however – and yes, it can be done – is to bring your dogs with you! Even if it is a long car trip, bringing your dog with you is easy and fun! Here are some tips on how to make a long car trip with 3 dogs (or even one!)
Tip #1: Plan your reststops.
Yes, I know, you’re on your trip and you want to get to your destination fast, but when you have man’s best friend with you, you must make stops! Must! No exceptions! The best thing to do is plan your stops before your trip…a 15 minute stop or so every 2 hours is optimum. But you’re on a long car trip! Where should you stop? The best places to stop are the “rest areas” or “picnic areas” you see on your route. Another old standby is Walmart – the Walmart stop is excellent because they are typically right next to the highway, almost always have some type of patch of grass, and also allow you to grab anything you may have forgotten or need! At the reststop you should bring your dog out of the car on leash and let him walk around to poop/peep. Also, give him a nice bowl of fresh water and a little treat!
Tip #2: Bring plenty of water
Don’t expect that every rest stop is going to have water. In fact most “picnic areas” along the highway only have picnic tables, and typically only true “rest stops” actually have water and restrooms! Invest in a small gallon jug of water for each dog you have and refill it each chance you get!
Tip #3: Take your dog on a walk before you start your trip
This piece of advice cannot be stressed enough. A nice 15 minute walk before the long car trip will help the dog get out any excess energy and will prevent a hyper dog jumping around the vehicle!
Tip #4: Give your dog space
Don’t expect your dog to be crammed up on the floorboard and then to be happy and content! The ideal situation is to have enough room for your dog to lay down comfortably without being squashed. If you have multiple dogs, an SUV type vehicle with the back seats down works great. If you have tons of things you also have in the vehicle that you’re bringing with you, stack it along the sides and give your dogs the space in the middle.
Tip #5: Air!
Don’t leave your dogs tucked away in the back of the car thinking that they’re cool. Remember, they dont have voices to tell you when they’re too warm! If your car has an AC vent in the back, make sure it’s open and that it is pointed at them. If you don’t have an AC vent, a nice option is to buy a small portable car fan. You can buy them for under $15 at walmart and they have styles both that work through the cigarette lighter in the car and that run under battery power. Just plug it in, turn it on, and clamping it in the back to get the air circulating for your dogs. They will love you for it!
Watch this video of taking three dogs on a road trip! One of the dogs in particular, the older one, loves to have his special place closer to the front of the car… we try our best to accommodate him…