When I got my first dog, I was a little unprepared just because the concept of a pet owner was very new to me. I never took a pet companion on my adventures before. Then I got Dakota. If you have an adventure companion like Dakota you probably couldn’t see your adventures without them now.
Dakota is my 8-yr. old Siberian husky. Over the years, I have learned so much traveling with her. Therefore, I would like to share from my experience, 5 things all Jeep and dog owners should do before going on an adventure with your sidekick.
I’ve learned to always make sure they are secure in the vehicle. I had a small accident while driving last year and this changed my way of thinking when it comes to dog safety. I never thought she could hit the ceiling of my Jeep, hit the front windshield or worse get ejected from the vehicle. The changes I made are simple but extremely important.
She now wears a harness and uses my seatbelt leash. It buckles right into the seat belt lock. This device is secure and the animal will remain safe if the vehicle needs to come to a quick stop. I know that Dakota is safe with this set-up. I make sure she Is comfortable too! Adding a small bed, so she can lay down and relax makes a world of difference.
It was important to create a safe physical space for her using a product from XG Cargo and floor liner which also helps keep the floor clean and my Jeep from getting scratched up. It helps create a safe confined space that she can also feel comfortable when the vehicle is parked and we are getting ready for our adventures. I also store all of Dakota's leashes, food, dishes and towels for her in the pockets.
First off, I have a hyper husky (If your dog is the same, you know what I’m talking about…) They seem to have unlimited energy, and it’s hard to get them to sit on a long car ride. After a few trips, I realized I need to let her run or at least walk around the neighborhood a few times. If they are tired and want to rest, most likely they will be relaxed on the way to your adventure. Sometimes I take her to the dog park to run around and go crazy with her fellow four legged friends. It helps so much right before we get on the freeway to head out.
The third thing I’ve learned. I did not plan stops for stretch time would just keep driving until I found an exit that had a place to stop. I have come to realize planning out the trip is a time saver. I know Dakota very well, so I can gauge how long she will sit in the car before getting restless. I look at the map and find a good area for us to stop, so she can stretch and enjoy bathroom breaks. Therefore, gauging your travel time and adding stops to my navigation is key for a successful trip.
One thing I struggle with is gauging how much food to bring. I would either bring too much or too little, never the right amount. I bought a Vittles Vault for her food and water. It’s amazing because it holds enough food for her and the top and bottom are the bowls. This does not take up a lot of room. Simply Awesome…
Last but not least, having a secure Identification tag on at all times. I feel it's extremely important to have a secure collar and tag with your cell number engraved. I found a pet tag lock at Bass pro shop that works awesome. It reduces my anxiety knowing if wandered off she will have the proper identification on to be reunited. I know that it won't come off easily along our travels.
I hope some of my tips help with some ideas before a road trip with your pup!
- Written by Amber Fay @amberrfay