Holidays are the busiest travel time of the year with car trips – whether it’s to Grandma’s house or to meet up with friends. If you are like 75% of people, you plan to bring your dog with you for the holidays. But, like humans, dogs can get antsy and bored in the car. So, in between last-minute packing and making drool-worthy snacks for the trip, make sure to check out the tips below so your pup can have an enjoyable ride, as well.
Work on a new trick. While the car may seem like a distracting place to learn commands, what with all the new sights whizzing past, it is actually the perfect place to teach your dog something new. If you’re a passenger in the car, get ready to teach your dog new tricks! The training session provides your dog with mental stimulation, and the distraction around him while you’re working with him is a good thing, because if he learns a command in a distracting environment, he won’t be distracted by external factors when you want him to perform the commands later. So buckle up, bring a bag of treats as a reward, and teach your dog to shake, “leave it,” and more.
Pack Toys. Most dogs have a favorite dog toy, so make sure you pack your dog’s on your next road trip. This will help him feel comfortable if he’s not used to riding in the car, as well as give him something to chew. But bring something new and exciting, as well. Buy a fun new toy your dog hasn’t seen before – this will keep him entertained for sure. Kurgo has a whole new line of toys devoted to fun backyard games, such as badminton, horseshoes, jacks, Frisbee, and more. While you obviously don’t have ample room to play these games with your dog in the car, he can chew on them during the ride, as all Kurgo toys are chew-tough, and then you can play the games with him once you reach your destination.
Bring treats. Of course you’re going to bring treats for your dog (or I would hope so, at least – that would be mean to bring food for yourself and not for him). But up the ante and make your dog work for them. Look for toys that have spots to put treats and give him something special to enjoy, like a Kong full of peanut butter or a toy from which it takes effort to get the treats – it’ll keep him both happy and entertained!
Take a break. Make sure you stop for breaks along the way. It is recommended that you stop for a break with your pup every two hours. Find a rest area that has a grassy space for your dog to go to the bathroom, drink some water (make sure you pack a collapsible dog bowl), and run around for a little bit. A park or an open field would be great places to stop, as well. Bonus: this is a perfect time to break out the Huck-It Horseshoes or the Wapple Ball to get out some of your dog’s energy…he may even sleep for the rest of the ride!
No matter where you’re going, whether your car ride is two hours or ten, if you’re bringing your dog, make sure you’re prepared. Bring his dog travel bed, some toys, and a few treats and you’ll be good to go! Once you’ve reached your destination, check out our article on Tips for Being a Considerate House guest and you and your dog will be sure to be everyone’s favorite visitors!