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Road Trips With Your Dog: What You Should Know

Embarking on a road trip with your dog can be a fun and rewarding experience. But it's important to be prepared and considerate of your dog's needs along the way. Today, our Port Jefferson vets will discuss traveling long distances in a car with a dog, and what you need to know beforehand.

Should I take a cross-country road trip with my dog?

A well-socialized and confident dog who enjoys new experiences and car rides will likely thrive on a well-planned road trip. Just be sure to pack all the essentials and make frequent stops for potty breaks.You can also stop for some exercise to keep your dog happy on the journey.

How can I prepare for the trip?

First, make sure your dog is up to date on vaccinations. We also recommend a microchip in case they get lost. Pack plenty of food, water, toys, and bedding to keep them comfortable during the journey. Additionally, plan frequent stops for bathroom breaks.

How often should I stop on a road trip with a dog?

We recommend stopping every two to three hours to allow your dog to stretch their legs, go to the bathroom, and stay hydrated. Regular breaks will also help prevent discomfort and restlessness during the journey.

Should I go on a test road trip with my dog?

Before embarking on a road trip with your dog, it's important to acclimate them to long car rides by taking a few test drives that last a couple of hours. Considering we recommend taking a break every two to three hours, this is a good length for a practice trip. This will help prepare your furry friend for the extended time spent in the car during your journey.

It also enables you to catch any potential problems early on and deal with them proactively, ensuring a smoother journey during your actual road trip. For example, your dog could get car sick, so you may need to plan for more frequent stops or bring medication to help alleviate their symptoms.

Should I use a crate, dog seat belt, or car dog seat?

In short, yes. You should use one of these options. You should never drive with your dog loose. Dogs can easily distract drivers, and an accident can launch them out of your vehicle and endanger both you and them.

Ideally, your dog will travel in a crate, appropriate for their size, strapped in with a seatbelt. If a crate is impossible, a dog car seat is the next best solution. Just bear in mind that they are not as safe as crates.

Dog seat belts should be last on your list. They offer little protection and can still launch your dog in a crash.

What if my dog doesn't do well on road trips?

It's okay if your dog doesn't do particularly well on road trips. Some dogs just aren't built for them. While it may be disheartening to have to leave them behind, their safety and comfort should always be your top priority.

If you are forced to leave your dog behind, you have options for care. You can leave them with a trusted family friend or hire a professional dog sitter to stay at your house to look after them.

You can also leave them with us. At Jefferson Animal Hospital, we offer boarding services for dogs of all breeds and sizes. Your dog will get their own kennel, frequent walks, breakfast and dinner, and supervised playtime with our staff and other dogs.

Our experienced staff will ensure that your furry friend is well taken care of and receives the attention they deserve while you are away. Rest assured that your dog will be in good hands at our facility.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Do you need a place to board your dog while you're away? Contact our Port Jefferson animal hospital today to book your dog's stay in our facility. We look forward to meeting you and your pooch!

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Jefferson Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Port Jefferson companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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