Tips for a Successful Road Trip with your Anxious Pup | Enduring All Things

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Tips for a Successful Road Trip with your Anxious Pup

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #RememberBeyond #CollectiveBias

If you know our dog Pip, you know he's the sweetest dog. All he wants to do is love on anybody and everybody. And he never makes a fuss about being crated or being told to get off the bed etc. He's also a little skittish. When we first brought him home from the shelter, he was scared of everything including bubbles and Pearson's guitar!

Now-a-days, he's not near as bad as that. He likes it when Pearson plays guitar and he'll run get his toys to play when he's in the mood. I think he trusts us and is more comfortable with us now. But he still gets super anxious whenever we travel. And he gets car sick on top of that.
Since the weather is warming up and we're getting closer to summer vacation, I thought I'd share some tips for traveling (especially road tripping) with your dog. Especially if he's anxious. Pearson and I live 600+ miles away from our families so we travel pretty far for holidays and vacations. We've sort of become pros.

But before we jump into that, be sure to check out this Kroger offer of $3 off Purina Beyond Dog Food, Pip's new favorite! (check the Beyond box on the left of the screen)

What/how to pack for your pup:

  • Food - We like to put Pip's dry food (currently Purina Beyond Simple 9 White Chicken & Whole Barley) in gallon size zip-top bags. This way we don't have to carry around a huge bag of food (we usually buy the big ones) and we can seal it up and not worry about it spilling everywhere.
  • Treats - We also put his favorite treats in a zip-top bag. This way we can bring multiple different types without carrying all the packages.
  • Toys - We can't leave home without his alligator that looks about 100 years old and a tennis ball or two.
  • Any medication your pup needs - Pip takes joint supplements and allergy medicine. Plus, when we travel he has to have medicine for his motion sickness. More on that later.
  • Bags for cleaning up after your pup - You don't want to be stuck somewhere on the road without these.
  • Food bowls - Bringing your own food bowls that your dog is used to helps make wherever you're staying feel more like home. It's just one thing you can do to make him feel a little more comfortable.
  • Water bottle - We always pack a specific water bottle just for Pip so on the road we always know what to fill up his bowl with.
  • Blankets - Again, we bring his blankets from his crate to make him a little more at ease.
  • Crate - This is sort of a given.
  • Leash/collar - Another given.
  • Seat-belt - I recently saw a seat belt attachment that can hook on a harness on your dog. Now I really want one before our next road trip!
I like to pack all of Pip's things in a small canvas bag and put it behind either the driver or passenger seat for easy access. Then we put his blankets in the back seat for him to lay on and collapse his crate and put it in the trunk to have when we get to our destination.

How to introduce him to new people and animals:

As I said, when we travel with Pip, he gets very anxious. Being in a different environment, for an unknown amount of time, especially just after being tortured in the car for several hours, can be very nerve wracking. This makes meeting new people and animals even more traumatic than it would be under other circumstances.
One thing to remember when introducing your pup to these situations is to not be nervous yourself. If he can see that you're worried about what he's going to do, he'll sense danger and be more likely to act out. Act natural and have full confidence in your dog's behavior.

With that being said, I wouldn't leave him alone with strangers. Especially children. Especially if he's not used to being around children. Introduce him and always stay in the room with him.
If your dog is anything like mine (and he probably isn't because Pip is one-of-a-kind), then he gets tired of playing with other dogs after a while and can get snippy. Pip is very much an introvert and enjoys meeting other dogs and playing for a while, but when he's done, he's done.

So I like to let him play with other dogs outside if possible. That way he has a lot of room to run away and even be by himself if he wants. As opposed to being locked in a house with the other dog. Also, if you can tell he's getting tired of it, let him go to your bedroom or something and have a break. There's nothing wrong with that.

How to handle his anxiety and/or motion sickness:

Make it seem like home. As I mentioned in the first section, bring his own blankets. And if you're gonna wash them before you leave, do it a few days early so he can get his scent on them again. Do the same thing with his toys treats and food and water bowls. We used to have a crate we only used for traveling. It was canvas and could easily fold up to take with us. But it was nothing like his normal crate at home and he tore through it on our first night away.
Make his food more appealing. When Pip gets anxious, he doesn't eat. He's gone 4 days on a road trip before without eating anything. Well, I shouldn't say he doesn't eat anything. He will eat treats. Just not his typical dog food. We've found that keeping his food in a central location like we do at home helps. Unfortunately that isn't always possible if you're staying in a house with other animals. Another thing that helps is mixing wet dog food in with his dry stuff. We've also tried putting treats in with the food but he just picks them out.
Give him motion sickness medicine. Poor Pip gets super car sick. So we give motion sickness medicine about thirty minutes before leaving and then again every 4 hours or so. We learned this the hard way. My family dogs growing up never got car sick and we took them on a 12 hour trip to see my Nana twice per year. So I was super surprised the first time Pip got sick! Anyway, get your dog to take the stuff however possible. As bad as it sounds, we've found that sort of shoving it down his throat works the best for us! Be sure to ask your vet before giving this type of medicine to your dog!

Purina Beyond Dry Dog Food at Kroger:

All of this seems like a lot of information. But it's worth it, right? Pip is very much a part of our family and I love that we're able to take him with us on most of our trips. Yeah pets can be expensive and they need a lot of stuff, and attention, and time. But Kroger makes it a little easier! They have such a great pet aisle that I have no reason to make another stop at a pet store. I get treats, toys, bags for clean up, and of course his food from Kroger.
I'm totally loving this Beyond line of dog food from Purina because real poultry (or meat or fish - depending on which one you get) is the first ingredient! There is no corn, wheat, soy, or poultry by-product meal. There are no added artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. All ingredients are safely sourced and it's backed by pet nutritionists!
During the month of April shoppers will be able to grab an exclusive digital coupon for $3 off any Purina Beyond dry dog food online right here (check the Beyond box on the left of the screen).

Have you ever taken a road trip with your dog? What tips would you add here? Have you tried the Purina Beyond products?
Thanks for reading!

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