Home TIPS Prepare Fido For Long Family Road Trip
Prepare Fido For Long Family Road Trip PDF Print E-mail

Before you decide to take your dog, first check with a vet. Don't go with a sick, severely injured or pregnant dog. If the dog must take regular prescription meds, be sure to pack an adequate supply.

If Fido is very nervous and easily frightened, ask the vet for meds for such emergencies. Also, take over-the-counter meds for possible upset stomach, diarrhea or constipation. Along with your own first aid kit, include meds you can administer in case your pet is injured during the trip. If the dog isn't accustomed to long, overnight road trips, spend some time before you begin your journey to acclimate your pet. Go on practice drives. Let the dog out every hour for a run and potty break, and give pats, encouragement and snacks reward for calm behavior.

If your car has enough room, take a comfortable pet cage, and secure it in the back seat or van compartment. Equip it with a cushioned bottom, water bowl, snacks and favorite toy. If you also take people, don't allow your dog, especially a big one, to roam inside the car when you're on noisy city streets. Be sure it's  tied down or in the cage .

On long trips, don't allow your dog to lean out an open window. There's always the danger of sudden stops and flying dust and debris in the air along the road. At all stops, don't let the dog out unless on a leash.

Establish a regular daily routine, to make the trip more comfortable for you, your dog and passengers. Plan dog exercise and potty breaks at least every two hours, when you'll need to stop for gas and meals. If  weather permits, look for a stop with picnic tables. Enjoy an open-air meal along with your canine companion.

If you need to make overnight stops, before you leave home, check your GPS for motels en route that allow dogs in the rooms or in a kennel on motel property.

Stay in-the-know about the latest Sports, Life, Money, Tech, and Travel stories. You'll get your first 2 months of USA TODAY for $25 (charged monthly). All print subscribers receive the e-Newspaper included with their subscription.