Traveling looks a little different this year.
The safest way to travel right now is by car. While it may be better for you and your fellow human companions, it’s not exactly the most fun for your furry friends. And the less fun they’re having, the more trouble they’re causing for you.
Check out these six tips for making your next road trip as fun for your pet as it is for you.
#1 Keep Them Occupied
When you’re on a road trip with your friends, you can listen to music, exchange gossip, and play games. And what is your pet doing in that time?
Well, usually nothing.
A great way to keep your animal distracted, while also giving them a tasty treat, is to fill a KONG toy with peanut butter. They’ll spend hours licking the peanut butter out from inside the toy, so you don’t have to spend hours listening to them whine.
#2 Stop Every Few Hours
Honestly, everyone—animals and humans alike—can benefit from a quick pit stop every two hours or so.
Try and do the following with your pet each time:
- Hydrate them – Keep a water bottle and collapsible pet bowl in the car at all times so you can treat your furry friend to some much-needed hydration. It wouldn’t hurt to drink some yourself, too (but you can go ahead and skip the pet bowl).
- Let them pee – Take them to an uncrowded grassy spot where they’ll feel comfortable eliminating waste. If they don’t go right away, give them a few minutes. Sometimes they have to scope out the perfect spot before marking their territory.
- Quick power walk – Take them for a ten-minute walk around the rest stop. This applies to cats as well as dogs. It may look silly, but cat harnesses are essential on a road trip. While you may be able to stretch your legs a little in the car, your pets can hardly move in their kennel or crate.
#3 Keep Them Calm
While some people are still on the fence about it, it’s true that CBD can help your pets, particularly on long trips or in unfamiliar situations. Here are a few benefits you’ll notice by giving your animal a small dose of CBD before a long drive:
- Decreases anxiety – Long car rides in confined spaces can make your pet nervous and uncomfortable. Put them at ease with a capsule or tincture of CBD before putting them in their crate.
- Alleviates pain – If your animal usually roams freely, then sitting or lying down for a long time can make them achy and sore. CBD can counteract some of these effects, though it’s still essential to stretch their legs periodically, too.
- Reduces nausea – Lots of pets experience motion sickness while in vehicles. Particularly when you didn’t leave enough time between feeding and driving, a few drops of CBD can steady their stomach and prevent an unfortunate disaster.
It’s crucial to find the right CBD products for your pets. Anything you buy for your animals to ingest should be safe and all-natural—if you wouldn’t eat it yourself, don’t give it to them.
#4 Give Them Space
If you’ve packed all your worldly belongings into the back of your car, you’ll hardly have any room for your pets. If they’re in a crate or kennel, they’ll feel extra claustrophobic packed amid your luggage, portable grill, pile of shoes, and whatever other random things you “just couldn’t leave behind.”
Leave space on either side of their crate or car seat so they can see you and the world around them. If you’ve harnessed them using a seatbelt, don’t crowd them by piling anything else on the same seat. Sorry, but your selfie stick and third pair of boots might not make the cut.
#5 Find Pet-Friendly Establishments
With or without pets, there are always a lot of things to consider when taking a trip. Add in the fact that it might be too hot to leave your animal in the car during lunch and that not all hotels accept pets as guests. Now you’re left with significantly fewer options for where to sleep and eat.
Easily locate pet-friendly restaurants, accommodations, and more with the BringFido app or DogFriendly.com.
#6 Feeding Schedule
Don’t feed your pet a huge meal right before loading them into the car, or else, they’ll be uncomfortable and gassy—and you’ll just be uncomfortable.
Ideally, you’d feed them two to three hours before setting out on the open road. Downsize their portions a little, especially if you usually give them a big breakfast.
For the most part, your pet will make an excellent road trip companion. You may have to make a few concessions for them along the way, but they’re worth it. As long as everyone’s avoiding beans and spicy foods, you should all make it to your destination unscathed.