Tips To Prepare Your Dog for Long Car Rides

Written by Felicia Priedel

Many people let being a dog owner stop them from traveling, but that doesn’t have to be the case.

In fact, a lot of pups love traveling with their owners. Whether you’re traveling to the next state or across the country, you can benefit from adequate preparation for the trip. Consider these tips to prepare your dog for long car rides to make the trip as smooth and enjoyable as possible.

Take a Few Practice Trips

Although many dogs enjoy riding in the car, others may not be too fond of the experience. Therefore, you should be diligent about determining whether your dog loves the car, gets carsick, or has travel anxiety. Even though you may want to pack up the car and go, you should take a few short practice trips to help your four-legged friend adapt to riding in the car.

If you find that your dog loves traveling with you, you’re in the clear. On the other hand, you don’t have to let their fear and anxiety keep you from traveling; leave your pup with a trusted friend or kennel instead.

Check With Your Vet Beforehand

Checking with your veterinarian before traveling is always a good idea—you may not know if your dog is healthy enough for a road trip otherwise. With that in mind, you should always take your pup for a routine checkup and ensure their vaccine record is up to date. If you think your dog could benefit from anti-anxiety or anti-nausea aids, this is a good time to ask about them.

Create a Safe Space for Your Dog in the Car

Safety should be your priority in the car, but you can’t ensure safe travel unless you create a designated space for your dog. If you let your pup move freely throughout the vehicle, they may distract you as you drive. Keeping them restrained or confined to a smaller area is the best way to keep everyone safe.

Pro Tip

Use netting to block off the front seat or set up a doggy hammock to make them more comfortable for the trip.

Prepare a Pet-Friendly Travel Kit

Knowing how traveling affects your dog’s behavior is the best way to start preparing properly; for instance, traveling may cause anxiety. In that case, you should pack plenty of comfort items to combat undesirable behaviors. Additionally, keep plenty of food and water on hand, as well as a dog-friendly first aid kit. You never know what could happen on the road, so you should be ready for just about anything.

With these tips for preparing your dog for long car rides, you can make the most of your pre-travel preparations. Vacations don’t have to become a thing of the past—you can have so much fun with your furry friend by your side.

© 2022 – 2023, Felicia Priedel. All rights reserved.

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Felicia is a writer living in the Chicagoland area. She's creative, passionate and loves to share her thoughts on being your most authentic self. This is something she hopes to encourage those around her through the thoughtful and engaging pieces she creates. She hopes those around her use this to help them create a more beautiful life.
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