Hit the Road with Your Dog: Some Car Travel Tips

Ready to take your dog on your next road trip? Cruising in the car to new and exciting places is a great way to bond. Planning and a little preparation can make the journey easy. BarkHappy can help. With over 27,000 dog-friendly places and meetups in over 45 major cities, the world is waiting for you and your dog to explore.

Safety first.  Many dogs love the car and can’t wait to hop aboard.  But they may be prone to injuries when given free reign. Car seats, pet carriers, seat belts, pet barriers or crates are all good options that will keep your pet safe.  A ramp or steps will help your dog get in and out of the car easily.

Make the car cozy and comfortable.  The more comfortable your dog is, the easier it will be for him to curl up, settle in and enjoy the ride. A warm fleece blanket is great for snuggling during winter travel and can be used as a soft cushion. For smaller dogs, pet car seats offer a safe way to sit and look out the window, keeping them engaged and interested.  Most car seats come with a safety harness that ensures that dogs will be secure should an accident occur.

Stop Frequently. Potty breaks can be a good way for your dog to stretch, burn off excess energy and gain exposure to new surroundings. Keep bottled water and a bowl on hand for short drinks and pack the car with some favorite toys or treats.

Carry some old towels or wash cloths. Some dogs seem to attract and thrive on mess. For unforeseen rain or muddy conditions, old towels come in handy and help keep both your pet and your car seats clean.

Never leave your dog unattended in a car especially in the warmer months. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, hundreds of dogs suffer and die each year from heat exhaustion. Dogs are sensitive to temperature and overheat quickly. Temperatures in a parked car can rise as much 20° F in just 10 minutes. On warm summer days, heat can quickly soar to levels that can be fatal.

Be open to new experiences on the road. The BarkHappy app is a great way to access and take advantage of the many dog-friendly places along the way. Get the most out of your trip by using the app to plan a vacation, a trip to the dog park or a special meetup that will let your dog in on all the action. Be sure to add your new dog-friendly finds to the BarkHappy map to share with other dog owners.