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Canines + Road Trips

by Coach Lilly

A ride…A Ride…A RIDE! Yay!!! We’re going on a road trip! I just heard my humans talk about it. I’m so happy I could lick the cat! I LOVE road trips! I most assuredly do. The wind is on my face, my ears flapping back and all the great things to smell. I especially enjoy the smells; it’s like a sensory buffet! I’m glad my humans take me in the car and not leave me in a stinky, loud kennel. Some other dogs can be SO rude. The stories about boarding kennels I hear from my friends at the dog park are downright scary! I can’t imagine not seeing my humans for days on end. It only gets worse from there!

Fortunately for me, my humans started me on car rides as a young pup. They always brought me one of my favorite toys to keep me busy during the boring times. They also got me a safety leash system, which restricts my movement during the ride, while allowing me some freedom to stretch my legs.

Some more of my humans’ techniques for a safe and comfortable ride include the following. They didn’t ALL need to be used on me, of course, I have just heard them talking about my predecessors:

  • Take your dog out for a few short road trips before you try any short ones with her.
  • Bring a crate, if possible, both for the ride and incase you need one where you plan to stay.
  • Check in advance to see if your destination or en-route facilities allow dogs.
  • If you use any type of tranquilizers, test the dog’s tolerance for them before the trip.
  • Feed your dog no later than two hours before the trip, to help avoid motion sickness.
  • Have water on hand.
  • Employ a safety harness if dog is not crated.
  • Do not allow dog to put muzzle or head out the window as debris can enter their eyes and nostrils.
  • Have a picture of your dog available in case he gets loose and you need to identify him to others in the search.
  • Instead of your pet’s name on a tag, why not put “Reward” and your phone number. This minimizes pet theft.
  • Frequent stops help prevent car sickness.
  • Keep a supply of their normal food for when you reach your destination.


As you can see friends, there are many ways to prepare for travel. Using a combination of these techniques will help ensure a safe and comfortable ride for the whole family. I’ll bid you goodbye for now and happy travelling.


Coach Lilly


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