A DogGeek.com exclusive by Teresa Barker
The sun is finally out, birds are singing, flowers are blooming, and the open road is calling. Although it may sound fun to hop in the car with your dog, open up all the windows and just drive, you won’t get far before you wish you’d packed him a bag, first.
Packing for a road trip with a dog can be fast and easy, and will help keep your pooch safe and comfortable on the drive. Here’s a few things to grab on your way out the door for a day of fun on the road, or to keep in a bag near the door for those spontaneous road-tripping urges!
Before you leave:
- Make sure that your dog is wearing ID tags and his collar (make sure that it has your cell phone number and not just your home address)
- Take the time to potty in your own yard before leaving (there might not be a good location right away, which is always when my dogs like to go)
- Check the weather forecast to be prepared for unexpected weather changes
What to Pack:
- Water dish and water (you don’t know the water quality in some areas, and a picky dog might refuse some)
- Tupperware container with food (that can be used as a feeding bowl, once the lid is removed) and snacks
- Harness or Seatbelt, for the safety of both of you
- Towels or a blanket for the seat (which can get hot in the sun)
- Extra towels/rags (for spills, wet/muddy paws, or accidents)
- Poop bags (always bring more than you think you’ll need!)
- Toys or a chew stick
- Canine first-aid kit
- Make sure that your dog is in good health and up for the excursion, including being current on vaccinations
- Spring means bugs! Remember to have flea/tick and heartworm protection for him
- Stop every 2 hours for a potty break and to stretch
- Don’t leave your dog in a parked car while you go inside for lunch. Pack your own snacks and enjoy a picnic together outdoors in the shade together.
A few minutes of packing, before you leave, can save you hours of frustration on the road. Most importantly, it will ensure that your pooch is safe and comfortable and will enjoy the ride, along with with you!
April 16, 2021 | DogGeek
The holidays are a fun and hectic time for all of us, including the family pets. Here are some tips to make your trip safe and worry free.
- Get their ya-ya’s out before you get in the car! A tired dog is a happy dog. Take them for a walk or to the dog park to get some of the travel excitement out. Besides, you could use the fresh air too! You’ll just be sitting on your butt all day in the care anyway.
- Plan in advance! Before you hit the road, plan out where you can stop with your pets for potty breaks, food and lodging. Don’t wait till the last second! Many hotels, especial pet friendly hotels, sell out quickly. Book your dog friendly hotel in advance.
- Bring water along with water and food bowls. You don’t know if where you stop will have them and it’s always better to have something that your pet is familiar with.
- Pack wisely. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve packed up our pack only to get to our destination to see that we forgot a Frisbee for our Border Collie mix. A Border Collie without a ball or Frisbee is the equivalent of a small child crying on an airplane… no one is going to be happy! Check, double check, then triple check that you brought everything you need!
- Don’t forget the food. Many pet stores are closed (as they should be) on holidays. Don’t let your pet have an upset stomach because they had to eat table scraps that they are not use to.
- Don’t let your gifts get destroyed. No one wants a hole if their gift from a dog that stepped on it during the car ride to Grandma’s. Plan ahead on how you will store everything in your vehicle so that everything gets there in one piece.
- Make sure all tags are up-to-date. Ensure that your correct mobile phone number (including area code, you are traveling) is on all tags and is readable. Also make sure rabies and other tags are up-to-date too. If you have your dog micro-chipped, ensure that all information is correct there too.
- Don’t forget the pet medications too.
Last of all, don’t forget to have a good time! It is the holidays, enjoy them!
December 11, 2020 | DogGeek
Here at DogGeek we love to travel with our pack! As you most likely know, getting ready for a long trip with your best friend takes a little bit of extra planning. You have to think about potty breaks, not just for your dog but for you since you can’t leave them in the car in the heat. Where to eat, water, etc… Below are a list of items for you to remember.
Thank to HerePup for creating the infographic below.
December 2, 2020 | DogGeek
It’s getting cool outside. The leaves are turning and starting to fall. You know what that means… Camping and bonfires! Here’s some tips for camping with your best friend.
August 22, 2020 | DogGeek
- Bring pleanty of dog food. People food at home is bad enough for your dog. People food while camping tends to even be worse. Remember to bring their water and food bowls so that they have something to eat out of.
- Don’t let them wander. Always keep an eye on your dog. There are poisonous plants, wildlife that can hurt your dog and more. Make sure your dog’s tags are up-to-date and readable just in case.
- Watch out for other animals. SQUIRREL! You know your dog will be curious so you need to watch out for snakes and other wildlife.
- Have fun!
If you want to get your dog all excited and wagging its tail, just jingle your car keys and ask “Do you wanna go for a ride?!” It (almost) never fails.
Like many pooches, your pup adores riding in the car with you. Whether you’re heading out on a road trip or merely running some errands in town, you also love having your four-legged bestie along for the adventure.
Check out the following tips to keep your best pal as safe as possible on the open road.
1. Invest in a Doggy Restraint System
Much like you prioritize wearing a seatbelt — hopefully for your kids, too — you also want to make sure Fido is safely restrained before putting your car in reverse. Indeed, don’t let your dog go unharnessed and suffer an injury.
According to PetMD, when you get in an accident with an unrestrained dog, they can incur broken bones, punctured lungs and other serious injuries. To prevent this altogether, purchase a restraint of some kind to keep your dog safe and secure. You can find canine seatbelts at any local or online pet store.
For example, the website for Doctors Foster and Smith carries vehicle safety harnesses in a number of sizes for about $25 each. So if you’re heading out on a long trip with your dog, you might want to test drive the harness first, allowing you to practice safely strapping your dog in as they get used to the idea of wearing it.
2. Keep Your Car in Tip-Top Shape
Getting a flat tire on your way to Starbucks with your pup for a latte and “puppaccino” is stressful enough; having car trouble in the middle of nowhere is even worse. To prevent this from happening, follow your car’s regular maintenance schedule by getting regular oil changes and tune-ups. Also, keep a close eye on your tires to ensure they’re in good, working condition.
To evaluate your tires for baldness, use a penny or a quarter to determine each tire’s remaining tread depth. Simply insert a penny into the tire treads on all four tires, with Honest Abe’s head facing down. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, your tires are at 2/32nds of an inch or less of tread and should be replaced immediately.
3. Don’t Let Fido Stick His Head Out the Window
We’ve all seen it: Carefree, happy-looking dogs sticking their heads out of the car window. Despite the joys it may bring Fido, it’s definitely not a safe activity. Of course, road debris and any number of other things can fly up and hit your dog in the face, and if they spot a small animal (squirrel!), they may very well try to jump out, leading to serious injuries or death.
Have Fun, and be Sure to Send a Postcard
Despite these and other safety warnings, it’s definitely fine to bring your pooch with you on driving trips. But by incorporating these tips into your routine, your time together running errands and going on vacation will not only be fun, but it will also be safe for your beautiful dog.
June 25, 2018 | DogGeek
As a devoted dog parent, you no doubt enjoy taking part in as many activities as you can with your beloved furry friend. Beyond keeping you both physically active, you relish this time together because the term “man’s best friend” means something special to you.
Already logged enough miles strolling through your neighborhood together? Perhaps now is good opportunity to mix it up with Fido and do something entirely different. Here are four fun and unique activities you and your dog are sure to enjoy:
1. Have Doggy Class Outside
Apparently, you can still teach a dog new tricks. Of course, teaching your dog new commands can be a lot of fun — and it’s also a terrific way to bond with your four-legged best friend. On nice days, head out to a large field and either teach your dog or provide a refresher on performing simple commands, like “stay” or “sit” while he or she is safely on a long leash.
Hold onto the end of the leash and tell your pup to “stay,” while slowly backing away. The goal is to get to the end of the leash without them moving. If your dog is an A+ student when it comes to following commands, you can also practice at a busier location like a local pet store to determine if they can handle distractions.
2. Go Camping and/or Hiking
If you and your dog are looking for something a bit more challenging than a brisk walk through a local park, consider going hiking and camping together. To get started, ask fellow dog lovers about their fave pooch-friendly places to camp and hike, or use Google to find a trail that will match both of your physical abilities and a nearby campground that accepts dogs.
3. Consider an Agility Course
Ever caught a canine agility competition on TV? Then, like thousands of viewers, you were likely amazed by the fact that dogs of nearly all sizes can learn to race up and down see-saws, go down slides, and zip through long fabric tubes. Of course, you can create a similar obstacle course in your backyard.
Start by setting out some hula hoops and sports cones and, if you think Fido is ready, encourage him to zip down your backyard slide. Additionally, you can encourage your dog to run through, over and around other various pieces of equipment. And since you’ll be running alongside him or her, these activities will provide great exercise for you both.
4. Enjoy a Dog-Friendly Restaurant Patio
Is your pooch usually well-behaved? Does he or she enjoy interacting with other dogs? If so, then you might enjoy heading to a local favorite bar or restaurant that offers a dog-friendly patio.
Of course, if you’re not sure which establishments cater to dogs, simply Google “pet-friendly restaurants” and you’re bound to see a wealth of results. Honestly, what’s better than enjoying a delicious meal or drink with man’s best friend at your feet — especially spots that offer free dog treats and water?
These four activities are a great way to fulfill your quest to get out more with your pup. As a bonus, he or she will certainly reward you with a wagging tail and a bright doggy smile.
November 8, 2017 | DogGeek