While road trips are tons of fun, traveling can still be stressful for our dogs, so giving them their own space and avoiding driver distractions is a priority. Although most dogs are very flexible, traveling with pets can throw even the most flexible dog off. Between traveling in a car, not being right on your lap, a time zone change, and not having all their favorite toys, even our normally sweet dogs can get moody. To accomplish this, these three must-haves for us when we travel ensure we are all happy and safe.
Traveling with Pets
It is always a good road trip when we get to bring our boys with us. Granted, our boys are a 170 pound Mastiff/Black Lab mix and a 25 pound Pomeranian/ Australian Herder. But, they love to hit the road with us and we love to have them along. The fun part is that we have their company and we all get to hike, run, and explore. The hard part is making sure that not only are they happy and comfortable when they travel, but above all, safe. This includes both when they’re in the car and when we arrive. And, this also includes our own safety and that of other people we encounter.
Car Safety Guard Pet Barrier
The first and most important must have is a car safety guard. Travall sent us a guard to try for the purposes of this review. What I liked most is that each Travall Guard is specific for your vehicle. So, the one they sent for our Mercedes GLK was designed to be a precise fit. An added bonus is that the look is very clean; you would never know it didn’t come with the car.
The first time we installed it, we struggled a bit. But we took it out and found it much easier to install the second time. It did rattle a little, which spooked Max. But the product seemed strong and secure. There were no sharp edges and the dogs got used to the rattle. Being made of steel, the sound of little things like their collar rubbing on it made our Max nervous at first. He quickly got over it.
The other people feature I love, beyond knowing our pups are in a smaller, secure area and not able to jump to the front seat, is that the Travall Guard is so easy to take in and out once installed the first time. And, for our safety and theirs, I truly love that the Travall Guard does not, in any way, cause any visibility issues; it did not obstruct our view at all.
TravelingMom Tip – Order and install your Travall Guard well in advance of your first road trip. Take your dogs on drives beforehand to allow them to get used to the new barrier in the car. Once we installed ours, we did not take it out of the car. I truly believe that having the guard is safer for both the boys and the driver and passengers. No more Max jumping into the passenger seat and no more driver distractions.
Food and Water
We never assume we will have what we need when we arrive at our destination. That means, we make sure to pack all the essentials for our pups and take it with us. This is especially important if your pets are on special diets or medications. We pack their food portioned out in zip lock bags and include any medications that go with the feeding in the bag, too. This makes mealtime on the road very easy.
Keeping to the pets’ feeding schedule is also a priority. Our road trips with the boys rarely take us more than a time zone away. But when they do, we try to just shift their feeding one hour from their normal time. We keep all their medicines on the same schedule.
Finally, make sure you always remember the pups when you are packing up the water. We tend to fill a large jug or a few water bottles with water from home specifically for them. This way, we know they always have fresh water they are used to drinking. The last thing you want on a road trip with dogs is a dog with a sour stomach.
TravelingMom Tip – Look ahead on your calendar. If your dogs are on any monthly preventives, be sure to pack it if you will be traveling during the time it’s due. The same holds true to get any refills you might need while you’re away.
All Their Favorite Things
Make road tripping with dogs easier by not making any big changes while you’re on the road. If you decide you really want a new leash for the trip, buy it way ahead of time. Let them get used to it at home. Traveling with pets is not the time for experimentation. Keep everything simple and status quo. Your pets will really thank you when you remember to bring their favorite toys, blankets, and beds along for the ride.
TravelingMom Tip – With our new Travall Guard in place, we find it so easy to load the back seat with all of their favorites. We are ready to go, so the road trip feels just like home.