This post is sponsored by Autotrader; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
Car Trip Tips for Your Dog:
My husband and I are more than a little obsessed with our massive rescue dog, Bocephus Dixie. Bocephus rescued us (not a typo) when he was just a pup – although already 85 lbs – and has been making our lives infinitely better, and full of dog hair, ever since. We’ve talked about Bocephus approximately 2,000 times on the blog already, but with the 12th annual National Dog Day right around the corner on August 26th, we figured it’s only fitting to show him even MORE love.
Bocephus is one of the very best travel companions around, and never misses the opportunity for a road trip – even if it’s just down the street to the grocery store. However, there is absolutely, positively, nothing our rescue pup loves more than a long car ride to one of his favorite hiking spots around Atlanta!
Once Bocephus realizes a hike is in his near future, we have approximately 35 seconds to have the car packed and ready to go before he goes bonkers and brings down the entire house. Ergo, we have to be prepared in advance with our canine car essentials already stashed away so we can grab a few items and GO:
Every once and awhile we have been known to on a Jack Kerouac-style road trip in search of a cool waterfall or view of the city #wegochasinwaterfalls. On average, dogs drink around 1 ounce (29 milliliters) of water per pounds of body weight every day. Bocephus is a huge fan of water, and insists on drinking lots more than that, so we invested in a collapsible travel bowl made of thick fabric with a square bases to prevent it from tipping over.
We’re not talking about your driver’s license here (although you won’t get far without it!) Make sure to microchip your pet. That way, even if your sly as a fox dog slips out of his collar and runs loose, terrorizing a group of exhausted Appalachian Trail hikers, in an unknown area, any dog catcher, friendly dog loving citizen or vet will be able to scan the pet and retrieve your personal information. Pro tip: pack an extra leash, in case you lose one. #DOH. (Disclaimer: this definitely didn’t happen to us. Definitely not.)
Tuck Away Some Toys:
Is your dog attached at the hip to his Ropey Dopey or can’t nap without his music playing Lobsta squishy? I hear ya. Don’t forget to bring your dogs toys along to keep him company and add a little security to the event. Afterall, sometimes the car ends up taking a wrong turn – and everyone ends up somewhere terrible – like the groomer! Assure them that’s not the case by throwing in a toy or two.
Hit the Pee Parks:
My mom and dad refer to interstate rest stops as Pee Parks, because the family dog, John Marshall, LIVES for them. Make Marshall proud and give your pup a break every couple hours, especially if he’s telling you he’s got to go. Plus, it gives you a reason to shamelessly stop for snacks or latte! If you are going through Starbucks remember to order your dog a free Pup Cup (whipped cream) as a special treat.
Plan for a Snack Attack:
Bocephus has never gone more than an hour without being showered by treats and reassurances that he is the most handsome, most loved, marginally well behaved animal to ever walk the earth. Why should the car ride be any different? We tend a pack a little peanut butter as well to force him to drink water – since sometimes he get’s so excited he forgets how thirsty he is! Snacks are a MUST!
Driving anything from a shopping cart to a NASCAR requires that you focus on the road, not on your dog, which is the most tragic news Bocephus has ever heard. Regardless, we never allow him up in the front seats, and especially not near the driver side floor where the brake and gas pedals are located. We swear by our Orvis hammock to keep our Velcro-boy super comfortable, and more importantly, safe during the drive.
Don’t Forget the AC!:
Be sure to show your pup some AC love, especially if you are roadtripping in the Georgia heat. Even if the air is on full blast in the front seat, that doesn’t mean the backseat is comfortable – especially if the sun is coming in on your dog right where he’s sitting.
What Car Trip Tips for Your Dog do you have? Share them with us on social media using the hashtag: #AutotraderDogDay
Looking to celebrate National Dog Day with us? If you’re in Atlanta, be sure to attend Autotrader’s National Dog Day #ParkandBark event taking place on August 26th from 5-8 pm at Historic Fourth Ward Park in Atlanta adjacent to North Ave. and N. Angier Ave. (right next to the Masquerade!) The event will have free dog treats (and puppy ice cream), dog accessory giveaways, a dog adoption corner, and will feature a series of “pet experts” to offer CPR demos, wellness advice, and more! Autotrader’s resident expert and longtime automotive editor Brian Moody will be in attendance to offer insights on the latest in dog-approved cars – and they’ll have a couple of vehicles on display for your viewing pleasure. For even more canine car loving ideas, check out these 8 Pet-Friendly Accessories for your Car or Truck!