Have you ever wanted to do a road trip with your dog? We’re here to let you know that a dog-friendly road trip is easy if you prepare in advance.
India is full of beautiful dog-friendly destinations that are accessible by road. There are also so many places your dog would love. Why go on a holiday leaving your dog behind, when both of you can have the time of your lives? Gokarna, the Himalayas, Goa- the places you can visit with your dog are endless and here’s how you can actually do it for the best holiday ever!
What do you need for the perfect road trip?
Always carry a water bowl (and water)
Road trips are long, and in the hot Indian sun, you and your dog are prone to heat strokes and dehydration. The most important thing you can do is to keep a water bottle for yourself, and a water bowl filled with water for your pet in the backseat. Try finding a water bowl that is deep and tied around the seat so your dog can easily access it. Make sure the dog-friendly restaurants you visit also have space for your dog to sit and drink water.
And food, of course.
Another obvious addition to your list of things to carry is food. Keep food and dog-friendly treats on hand, but also try and keep a box of your dog’s usual cooked meals. You might need to stop at stores on the way to pick up more food supplies. Try and keep a simple list of shops on the way that might have meat or other food your dog eats. Carry and wash your dog’s food bowl regularly.
Speak with your veterinarian before you embark on your doggie road trip. Ask him or her what medicines you should carry. If your dog has health concerns, buy extra medication to keep handy. Other medical supplies include bandage, gauze, antiseptic creams and tweezers to take out small debris that collect in your dog’s paws when outside.
Pet grooming products
Your dog still needs regular brushing and grooming. For our guide to grooming, read here. Carry a brush, some dog shampoo, and any vet-approved skincare products in case your dog has a health condition. Keeping your dog well-groomed will also keep your car clean!
Towels and a blanket
Keep a spare set of towels handy. You might need to bathe your dog, or you might get stuck in the rain. Towel dry your dog to keep it comfortable and clean especially inside the car. And always have a spare blanket to keep your dog warm.
A small dog bed and a collapsible crate
Assign a space in the backseat of your car and keep your dog’s bed there. Try and carry a dog bed your dog is already familiar with. If this is not possible, try and train your dog to use this bed before your journey. The collapsible crate is in case of an emergency, but you will probably never have to use it while on the road. A dog-friendly hotel will usually not require a crate either.
All the required paperwork
Boarding houses and other hotels that allow pets will usually require vaccination forms, identity forms, and other important information about your dog and its medical history. In fact, if they don’t insist on it, it’s probably a bad sign. So keep the paperwork handy so everything is legal and above board, and above all, safe for your dog.
Find places en route your destination that allow dogs
It’s always best to be with your dog the entire journey. You and your dog will be way more comfortable that way! Look up routes and areas that allow pets. Today, there are many lovely hotels and homestays around India that allow for a beautiful holiday with your pet. Book all these places in advance, and it will save you the hassle later.
Try and get a microchip for your dog
In case there’s a situation where your dog gets lost, a microchip might help you trace it again. This may be more unlikely in smaller villages and towns, but keep the unique identification number ready with you just in case.
Carry an extra leash
In places with heavy traffic, or if you need to stop on a highway, it will help to keep your dog leashed so that it doesn’t unwittingly run to the road. Accidents happen often on highways and it is best to be prepared for the safety of your dog.
Carry bags to collect poop
Don’t forget to take your dog for routine bathroom stops while on the road. And pick up after your dog. Dispose of the bags in the appropriate waste disposal facility.
Always remember to follow your dog’s routine as much as possible!
Long hours in the car are not the best for your dog. While this might extend the length of the car journey, keep in mind that your dog needs exercise and the ability to stretch its legs. Stop every once in a while and take your doggo for a little stroll around the car, and maintain regular morning and evening walks.
There you have it! Take the ultimate road trip with your dog after following our guide. There is some work involved, but not much more than the work you do caring for your dog on any other day!