Lessons Learned Traveling with a Dog
Our 2,258-Mile Road Trip Experience, Ky to Ca
June 3 of this year I packed all that I could fit in my car, made my dog comfortable, said my goodbyes, and off I went. First, when you're getting ready for a cross-country road trip with your furry best friend you have to check off the basics. For me, I made sure I had a blanket that smelled familiar to keep her comfortable and calm, a few of her favorite toys, some light snacks, and an awesome rubber bowl that didn't move around as I drove. Dogs can tend to get sick on long car rides even if they normally don't get car sick. With that in mind, I fed her that morning and let her settle and do her business outside before hitting the road. My dog's name is Jasmine she did amazing on the 10-11 hour trip to Kansas. We stopped two or three times I believe, for bathroom breaks for both of us and gas. It was hard finding spots for her to go at gas stations so I found myself having to drive a little further after getting gas to a rest area to let her get some energy out. My friend in Kansas has a German shepherd pup who is sweet as can be and Jasmine got to get in some play time for the two days we were there. I brought her favorite toys inside and the pillow she was using for the familiar smell and left her blanket bed in the car. The visit was short and sweet and we packed back up and left for Colorado early on the 5th. Colorado is absolutely stunning. If you haven't been please go. The drive through that state was anything but boring. The trip to Colorado was about the same amount of time but Jasmine seemed to be a little more restless. I think this was due to the fact that we only had a two day stop. My dog and I stopped at many sites in Colorado to admire the views which helped with her restlessness and she got more comfortable throughout the trip with every stop. There are actually stops when you travel that have dog parks which we discovered headed to Grand Junction. You can look up and see if any were on the way. We hiked the Colorado National Monument. We spent two nights in Grand Junction, Colorado at an Airbnb. An important thing to do for your trip is to find places that are pet-friendly to stay. The Airbnb in Grand Junction had a doggie door and a nice backyard and it made Jasmine feel so comfortable. Finally, we had one more 12-hour drive until we reached our final destination, our new home in California. Some of your dogs may be cool as a cucumber or some may be big stress balls. I have a big stress ball of a dog. Some things I wish I would have had are a weighted or compression vest for her comfort, a seatbelt buckle for her harness, and the treats or something to help calm her anxiety in traffic or when big trucks were close by. Every time she got anxious or scared she tried to climb up front in my lap. This did not go over well considering she is a 65-pound dog so I highly recommend the seatbelt. My dog is spoiled and almost always gets the last bite of all my meals but if you continue to do that on trips they will get sick and uncomfortable. I fed my dog light things like a couple pretzels and crackers while on the road but fed her every time we stopped for an overnight stay. I also snacked on things like pretzels myself to limit the number of times I had to stop. My top tip for traveling with a dog is having a second key for your car so you can leave your car running but locked for your dog when going inside anywhere for food or gas. If you get gas, turn your car off but roll the windows down on the side you can see first so the dog is getting air during that time. Other than that, please leave your car running with a spare key on hand. In the end, she was an amazing travel buddy and a good companion. I would definitely take this trip with her again. All dogs will be different and you know your dog better than anyone else so the needs may vary. I hope this helps someone! Safe travels.