It’s time for a road trip but you have no idea what do with the dog – it’s a specific scenario that leaves many moms stumped.
After all, the idea of leaving our little monsters at home is oftentimes heartbreaking; meanwhile, sometimes the stress of juggling scheduling a dog-sitter, paying for boarding or leaving plans can be a headache in of itself.
From keeping more money in your pocket to giving your kiddo something to do during your trip, bringing your pet along on your trip can actually be a smart move beyond a cost-saving one. Besides, separation anxiety is real for dogs and it’s better to acclimate your pets to travel sooner rather than later.
That said, how can you juggle such a trip without losing your mind? A road trip with a toddler can be rough enough, but do you know what to do when you throw rover into the mix?
Relax. Based on a recent adventure through Connecticut, here are some pet-friendly travel tips for a successful road trip!
Make Sure You’ve Got a Big Vehicle
Maybe this is a no-brainer, but you’re going to need a decent-sized vehicle if you want to make it even a mile beyond your house without going crazy. Don’t try to cramp your party into a sedan, and likewise don’t skimp out on packing the essentials for the sake of space.
Obviously bring along your larger vehicle and likewise consider renting something bigger (or even an RV) for a long-term trip. In fact, you can find RV rentals in Connecticut and throughout the country that give you all the comforts of home and plenty of room for your pets, too.
When in Doubt, Stay at a Campground
Related to the RV tip, finding pet-friendly hotels can sometimes be easier said than done. On the flip side, campgrounds and RV parks are an awesome option if you have pets as you can give your animals space to roam.
Keeping your pets confined to a hotel room can result in disaster and tantrums; meanwhile, how much can you realistically enjoy your trip if you’re constantly worried about how they’re doing.
Of course, you still need to be responsible in terms of your noise level and ensuring your dog doesn’t get into everyone’s business.
Be Realistic with Your Activities
On a related note, try to plan your trip in such a way that you aren’t just going to leave your dog along for extended periods of time. Activities such as hitting up parks and exploring rural areas are totally fair game to bring your dog along, but if they’re going to stay cooped up somewhere strange you should perhaps reconsider bringing them along.
Plan Out Your Meals
When your pets are along for the ride, you need to take into consideration even the simplest of plans – this includes food!
As we noticed in Connecticut and across the country, there are plenty of dog-friendly restaurants out there in addition to beautiful places to eat outdoors when in doubt. It’s also not a bad idea to bring along some of your own grub in those instances where you’re on the road and stopping perhaps doesn’t make the most sense.
Test Drive with Your Pet First
Finally, try to figure out how travel-ready your dog is before you get too far from home.
If your dog has trouble staying still in the car or sleeping in unfamiliar places, you should expect somewhat of an adjustment period. Don’t be surprised if you need to comfort your pet in the car or during nighttime, or perhaps even help them relax via medicine (think: some dogs take half a Benadryl at night to sleep) if need be.
Think that you can’t handle kids and pets on the same trip? Think again! You can totally make it happen when you keep these planning principles in mind.