Travelling with dogs can be tricky sometimes. Just like human kids, dogs behave differently every time you put them in the car with you.
Shiva is always keen to see exactly where we’re going, and is forever trying to climb over their dog hammock and sit on my or Jacques’ lap. Not ideal. Shakti is the more well behaved traveller, although we don’t think she likes it at all. For the entire journey she’ll stare at the inside of the door until we arrive at the destination.
We’ve tried everything from adding copious amounts of toys, hooves and treats in the back to keep them entertained and comfortable. Some days it works, some not.
If we’re going on long journeys, I have a dog bag packed just for them including treats, water bowls and their leashes. We usually try to stop at least once per hour for them to stretch their legs, get some water and some fresh air before continuing the journey.
This is our list for preparing how to travel on the road for holiday with your dogs:
- Treats, toys & blankies – Ironically the number one thing is to pack treats, toys and some of their favourite things to make them comfortable.
- Bottle of water and bowl – I have seen some super cool products on this that also works well for hiking.
- Hammock /Dog Carrier – if you don’t let them roam the backseat in it’s entirety like we do in their hammock (we have the WagWorld hammock), or other people/kids are travelling with you, consider a dog carrier/crate to keep them safe in a contained space for the ride.
- Baby shading – I stuck some baby window shading nets on our windows so the sun doesn’t get into the backseat directly. The dogs definitely pant less, and it’s far easier to put up than hanging a t-shirt or towel through the window. Plus the doggos can still see out 🙂
- Poop bags – this you should already be carrying everywhere with you. Also, I find that taking extra plastic (or other) bags with you to place the water bowls into once they’ve had some, is also a good idea and will keep the car less messy 🙂
- Aircon/ventilation – we usually have the windows down on the ‘slower roads’, but once we hit the open road we put the aircon/ventilation on full-blast to the backseat.
- Frequent Toilet breaks – we try to play a game of fetch with them before we load them in the car. Sometimes this doesn’t work, as they realise way early on that we’re going somewhere, and then don’t care for anything but getting in the car…If no fetch or running/walk before you depart, and whether you do or not, take frequent breaks with them. We try to at minimum stop once per hour of the journey. We walk them to stretch their legs, provide water and see if they’d like a treat.
And for heaven’s sake, remember to put your doggo on a leash when you take those journey breaks. It is a strange environment for them and they could easily run off to explore, or worse, end up under a car who’s driver is not dog savvy.
What do you do to make sure your dog is comfortable during your road trip? Comment below!