This post is sponsored by Autotrader; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
Since we have three kids under age five and a dog, we don’t really travel that often. However, we do LOVE to spend the weekend up north at my mom’s lake house. It’s only about an hour drive for us, which is perfect! Our golden retriever, Wrigley, absolutely LOVES going to the lake house. He loves to lounge around outside on the deck, watch the ducks and boats that go by, and most importantly, go for a swim! As soon as we start packing up our car he knows we are going somewhere and he hopes he gets to go along too! We love our sweet guy and love taking him with us!
In the midst of packing up a family of five for a weekend getaway, it’s easy to overlook Wrigley and his travel needs. So I rounded up a few simple tips for traveling with your pup!
1. Keep your pup secured while in the car. It’s important for your dog’s safety and for your kid’s safety that your dog wears a dog seatbelt or is in a crate while you drive. If you were to get in a crash and your dog was not properly secured, he could be injured or he could potentially injure you or your children. You can find all kinds of resources and products for car safety on Autotrader’s website.
2. No food before getting in the car. Dogs get car sick too! There is nothing worse than a sick dog on a road trip….well, except sick kids! Both are zero fun. In order to avoid an upset tummy, I try and make sure Wrigley has a few hours between eating his meals and traveling in the car. Trust me on this one.
3. Take breaks! Everyone, kids and dog included, need a break to stretch their legs, go to the bathroom, and get all the wiggles out! A one hour road trip is never just one hour with our family. Between potty breaks, cranky kids, or a hungry baby, we tend to stop a lot! Take advantage of those moments and let everyone out of the car for a few minutes to get all the crazy out!
4. Bring water! I don’t recommend offering your dog snacks during a road trip, but make sure you carry a water bowl with you so that your pup can have a drink whenever you stop to rest. Dogs can get dehydrated when it’s hot and they can’t reach for a drink in the car like you can. Be sure to offer them lots of water when you stop, and as soon as you arrive at your destination.
5. Remember to pack for your pup! Besides packing up their food for a vacation, remember to bring along a favorite blanket, bed, or toy. Wrigley has a favorite stuffed animal we always bring with us. We keep a dog bed and food bowls up at the lake house so that we don’t have to remember to pack them every time.
6. Make sure your dog’s tags and micro-chip are up to date. We moved last year and I totally forgot to update Wrigley’s information! So I need to listen to my own tips I guess! But I quickly solved that problem and ordered him new tags yesterday. If your pet gets lost while you travel it is essential that there is some way to identify him or her. So don’t be like me and put it off…order those tags today!
7. Keep the routine. Just like kids, pets thrive on routine. Whenever we travel I try to keep Wrigley on his normal mealtime schedule. He’s an older dog, so he spends a good part of his day taking naps. Thankfully he’s been able to stretch out in our car and rest when he needs to! For more tips for traveling with your dog, visit Autotrader.
In honor of National Dog Day, Autotrader will be releasing a “New Dog Smell” car freshener! How funny is that?! For every order, Autotrader will give an in-kind donation to the Humane Society to help support adoption efforts at shelters all across the country. I love that, don’t you? Also, if you are looking for a dog friendly car, Autotrader just created an awesome list of the best cars for dog lovers.