Our two dogs go everywhere with us, but we had to train them-and ourselves!-to properly prepare for long car rides. We started out with short jaunts to and from a friend's house or a dog-friendly store, then extended our trips to hour drives with no rest stops. Finally, they were ready for a road trip, and these tips helped get them there:

·         Start small: As I stated, take your furry friend on short trips and build them up to longer trips. This gets them used to the car and allows you to establish rules, like no sitting on the driver's lap!

·         Vet first: Before you embark on a long journey far away, make sure your pet is up to date on her vaccinations and refill any necessary meds. Might not be a bad idea to print a copy of her recent records just in case.

·         Pack the car: Put all your pet's things in one bag: leash, food bowl, travel water dish, toys, and anything else you'll be taking. Extra towels and wet wipes will help keep your pet and vehicle cleaner!

·        Buckle up: Pet seat belt harnesses do exist, so grab one, install it, and buckle up!

·        Keep boredom at bay: Just like kids, our pets will get bored en route. Be sure to make stops for stretching legs and potty breaks, and throw a few toys in the back to keep her busy. And if you're not afraid of motion sickness, have your pet's favorite snack on hand-you know, the one that takes her a long time to eat!

·        Just in case: Sometimes preparing for the worst means avoiding the worst, so take a recent photo of your pet and make note of the nearest animal hospital during your travels.


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