The ASPCA estimates that 78 million dogs are owned in the United States and that about 44 percent of all households have a dog. We've got to imagine that many of those pet-owners will want to go on vacation this summer--maybe even a road trip! Instead of leaving your furry friend at home, consider taking Fido on your family vacay. We're sharing a few tips to make sure it's a successful journey for everyone.
Related: Finding the perfect dog crate
Road Trip Tips for Dog Owners
- Plan ahead. There are probably a few pet-friendly restaurant patios, hotels and even shops along your route, but they aren’t always easy to find. Sometimes you must call a business to find out if pets are allowed, and if so, if there are any size restrictions or fees associated with including them.
- Ask for special pet treats. Some restaurants cater to pets on-the-go with treats like “pupuccinos,” plain hamburger patties and more. Just ask, you might be surprised by what’s out there! (Pro tip: be cautious with sensitive tummies and skip the treats if your dog is prone to car sickness!)
- Pack some familiar dog stuff. Make your dog feel at home away from home by packing his favorite dog bed, blanket, chew bone, food/water bowls and toys.
- Plan pet breaks. Remember, your pets need breaks from the car, too. Find a dog park along your route where your pet can play or take a walk around a public park during your pit stop to make long car rides more bearable. (Pro tip: keep the clean-up bags handy!)
- Keep their meal schedule consistent. Even on the road, you’ll want to keep your pet’s feeding schedule consistent. That means packing a bag that’s easily accessible with food, water and bowls.
- Pack paper towels & stain remover. Even the best-planned trips can have issues! Always travel with clean-up supplies in an easy-to-reach spot just in case.
- Be respectful. Most hotels and restaurants have very specific rules about allowing pets, like not leaving them alone in the hotel room.
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Know and follow these rules to ensure a smooth trip. Lucky the TurfMutt is a former rescue dog turned superhero who got a new “leash” on life when he was saved from a busy Indiana roadway by Kris Kiser, President and CEO of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI). This is not a sponsored post. Thank you to the OPEI for the tips.