Do you have any fun trips planned before summer is officially over? Or maybe you’re like me, and you actually prefer to travel when the weather is cooler in the fall. Either way, these tips will have you covered!
Buster is now 7 years old, and we have traveled together his entire life. In the past few years, we have made it an effort to travel even more than usual! To be honest, I’m mostly a homebody, but I love going on adventures with my dog!
We also went to Maine for the first time ever back in 2017, and we have been back multiple times since! Maine holds a particularly special place in my heart, and let me tell you, I truly hope to call that state home in the next 1-3 years. But, until then, we will keep traveling there as often as possible!
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TIPS FOR TRAVELING WITH YOUR REACTIVE DOG
1.) Confine your dog inside of your vehicle.
Don’t let your dog run around loose in your vehicle. This can cause major safety concerns not only for your dog, but also for the driver and any passengers. It’s much safer if your dog is confined while traveling. There are a variety of options – ranging from expensive crash tested crates like this one from Variocage and crash tested seatbelt restraints like this one from Sleepypod. You could even use a normal soft travel crate, or even a regular plastic or metal crate, but just be aware that they might not provide a lot of protection in the event of an accident.
As an added bonus, a lot of reactive dogs actually travel in the car much better when they’re confined in a crate. They can’t see any triggers outside of the window to react to! You could even drape a sheet or towel to cover the crate, which may actually make your dog feel more comfortable and sleep through the entire car ride.
2.) Try to coordinate potty breaks with the food/fuel stops you’ll already be having to make.
If you can, I highly recommend coordinating your dog’s potty breaks with the stops you’ll need to make for fuel and food. I know though – sometimes nature calls! Traveling with a dog can easily add 1-2 hours onto your trip time when you add up all the potty breaks, so try to coordinate it with the already necessary stops to save some time.
3.) Make sure to pack your dog’s normal food, along with his food and water bowls.
Traveling for even the most well-traveled dog can be a little stressful, so make sure you bring all of the normal stuff your dog is already used to, including food. The last thing you want is to have buy a different kind of food on the road because you forgot to pack some! That can result in tummy ups
4.) Make sure to bring at least 1 durable puzzle toy that can be stuffed with food and frozen.
You could bring something like a Kong Extreme or the West Paw Toppl. These provide entertainment and can help release some energyy. You can simply stuff your dog’s normal food in them, fill with water, and freeze, or you can stuff with something yummier like peanut butter or yogurt.
5.) Always travel with a dog first aid kit.
As the old saying goes – “better safe than sorry.” You should always travel with a first aid kit for your dog, but we’ll hope that you never need to use it! The good news is that a lot of things can do double duty for humans and dogs, so if you get scratched up, you can patch yourself up with items in this kit! If you’re not sure what your dog first aid kit should include, you can download my free checklist here.
I keep a larger first aid kit in a tupperware in my car at all times, and I travel with this much more portable dog first aid kit in my backpack throughout when we go on hikes, etc.
6.) Always travel with your dog’s Rabies certificate, vaccine records, and an In Case of Emergency sheet.
Again – better safe than sorry! This information will be incredibly useful to first responders in the event of an accident.
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7.) Some reactive dogs can benefit from a calming supplement while traveling.
Some reactive dogs have a harder time traveling than others. Buster is quite used to it by now, but I do still ocassionaly use this Richard’s Organics Pet Calm. This is an all-natural product that relieves stress. I notice a huge difference in Buster when I use this! It really seems to take the edge off. Alternatively, you could also try CBD oil.
I’ve created a free resource so that you can stress less and focus your time and energy on having a fun adventure with your dog! Click the image below and you can download my Dog Friendly Travel Checklist & Tips. It also includes a printable In Case of Emergency sheet, so that you’ll have everything you need to travel and have a great time with your dog!
Tell me in the comments below – where are you headed with your dog? I’d love to hear about some of your favorite places to travel to. What are some of your favorite travel tips?