Before you hit the road with your dog, it’s important to plan ahead. Otherwise, you may find that your pet doesn’t adapt well to car travel and the situation is more difficult than you’d originally imagined. A little advanced preparation can help make sure that your trip goes smoothly and everyone is happy. Let’s look over some tips for traveling with your dog.

Get Them Used to It

Before you take your furry friend on their first road trip, it’s important to get them used to riding in a vehicle. Otherwise, you may find that they’re quite anxious about the process. An anxious dog in the car can lead to distracted driving, ruined upholstery or an accident. To help avoid this type of issue, spend some time acclimating your pet to riding in the car by taking short trips at first. This may help your dog adjust to riding in the car so that they’re comfortable with the experience. If you cannot get them comfortable riding in a vehicle, you may need to speak to your veterinarian about a mild sedative or leave them at home with a pet sitter.

Don’t Let Them Distract You

Dogs in the car can be a major cause of distracted driving. Don’t allow yourself to get distracted by how much Fido is enjoying the trip, and be sure to keep your eyes focused on the road. Be careful with your windows as well, only leaving a small gap so that your dog cannot accidentally wiggle out as you go down the road. While it can be great fun to take your dog along for the ride, it’s important that you don’t let them distract you and cause an accident.

Secure Your Dog Properly

If you have a dog that refuses to sit or rest quietly during a car trip, it may become important that you secure your pet. You can do this with a seatbelt designed for dogs, a leash or a crate in the rear of your vehicle. Securing your dog helps ensure that they are safe in the event of an accident while also limiting the potential for them to cause an accident by distracting you.

When it’s time to take your dog on a road trip, planning ahead can help make sure that everyone’s happy. Stop frequently for potty breaks, be sure to pack food and water, and find a way to keep your dog secure, comfortable and out of the way while you drive. This will help everyone enjoy the road trip and arrive safe and sound.