5 essential tips for a smooth road trip with your pet

Small brown and white dog stands with front paws on steering wheel of car.

Hit the road with your pet for a fun adventure – but don’t make them do all the driving.

For many people, the thought of travelling without their pet is like travelling without an arm. A holiday just isn’t the same unless their furry friend is coming along for the ride.

If this sounds like you, you’ll be glad to know that there has never been a better time to hit the road with your pet. Many BIG4 parks now accept dogs, and this pet-friendly accommodation is scattered throughout Australia.

While taking a road trip with your pet can be a fun and memorable experience, it can have its challenges. So we’ve put together a list of handy tips when on the road with your dog to ensure you have a smooth journey.

 

1.     Give your dog a check up

Shhhh – don’t say the V word too loudly. However, before you take to the highways, it’s important that you visit the vet to ensure your furry friend is healthy, up-to-date with vaccinations, and equipped to travel.

Black and brown dog and two smiling blonde boys lean out of the front window of black car.

A trial run with your pet is a great pre-holiday tip.

2.     Take a trial run

If your pet has never been on holidays, consider taking it on a trial run. A test run or two with your dog can familiarise it with the vehicle’s surrounds and allow you to gauge how well it might travel when it comes to the real thing. Hopefully this groundwork will provide you with peace of mind, too.

3.     Avoid pet sickness

It’s important to minimise the chances of your pet being sick while on the road. One way to help avoid travel sickness is ensuring your furry friend has been fed prior to departure; at least three to four hours in advance. Your vet may have also recommended ginger-based tablets in case of travel sickness.

It also helps to exercise your pet long before you hit the road so as to ensure they aren’t dehydrated while travelling.

Brown and white dog on doormat next to front door with brown leather leash in its mouth.

It's a good idea to exercise your pet long before you hit the road.

4.     Take rest stops

It's best to be prepared if your pet can’t read the sign that states ‘next toilet stop 20km away’. Depending on the length of your road trip, be sure to factor in rest stops. A quick break to give your canine the chance for relief, fresh air, a stretch of the legs, and water will provide great benefit.

5.     Safety first  

Despite cute images suggesting otherwise, dogs should not have their heads hanging out of the window while the vehicle is moving. This exposes them to the danger of being hit by objects and can also be harmful to their health, as cold air can cause ear damage and even lung infections.

In addition, this obvious but important advice can’t be stressed enough: never leave your pet alone in a parked car. Even if the weather is only mildly warm, leaving a pet in a parked car can result in heatstroke after as little as 15 minutes.

Brown, white and black dog leans head out of moving car passing green fields on a sunny day.

Dogs should not have their heads hanging out of the window of a moving car.

Now that you’re armed with a bunch of tips for travelling with animals, it’s time to check out BIG4’s pet-friendly accommodation options. In addition, we have a bunch of top tips when bringing your dog to a BIG4 park. Happy travels!

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