It’s already been a week since we’ve returned home from our trip to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina to attend this year’s BlogPaws Social Media & Networking Conference. Two weeks ago the Lady I rescued, with dog daddy Brad, loaded up the car and headed south. Here’s our tips for taking long car trips with dogs.
Long Car Rides with Dogs — Tip #1 Safety First
Safety is the most important thing to consider when taking long car rides with dogs. Recently we reviewed the Kurgo dog car impact harness, I never go on long car rides without it. The Kurgo harness passed rigorous car crash safety tests, it’s comfortable to wear, and I still have room to move around in the back seat or ride shotgun. Dogs should never ride in the car unsecured.
The Lady makes sure I’m comfortable in the back seat, but also to keep the car seat clean we have a Kurgo car seat cover on. Add a dog bed and I’m just as cozy as I am at home. You can also bring along your dogs favorite toys to occupy them. The Lady used to have something for me to chew but I’m not in the mood when traveling.
Long Car Rides with Dogs — Tip #2 Lots of Breaks
Our plan was to drive the first day to Asheville, NC, about 10 hours, and spend the night at a friend’s house. That’s a long day for a dog to be kept in a car so be sure and add extra time for long breaks. We love to stop at the rest areas along the interstates. There’s always an area for walking dogs, we even saw some cats taking a litter box break.
Up in the Smoky Mountains, near Dolly Parton’s birthplace, the Lady and I stopped to pay homage to my namesake. We take breaks a bit longer than if you don’t have a dog with you. We make sure I have time to stretch my legs and get some sniffing in. Before we start off again I get treats and water.
After several missed turns due to the Lady’s poor navigating skills with an iPad, and nearing dusk, the Lady and dog daddy turned off the interstate onto the old highway to Asheville, as the iPad said it would save us 15 minutes. Which is a lot when you’re navigating unfamiliar mountain roads in the dark. After a very scenic drive and losing track of how many times we crossed the French Broad River, we made it to Weaverville, a small town north of Asheville where we we were staying. But by the time we picked up dinner in town it was pitch black and we had yet to find the house.
We finally made it safely to the Lady’s friend’s house after a harrowing drive on mountain roads in the dark. I was not happy with how long it was taking and my whining did not help.
The next morning the Lady and I went exploring the yard and taking pictures to give me some time before having to get in the car again. If you’re ever planning on visiting Asheville let the Lady know as her friend’s cozy, rustic mountain cabin will be on AirBnB in the fall.
Our short drive to Myrtle Beach the next morning took twice as long as expected thanks to more bad navigating on the Lady’s part. I was so glad to see two big comfy beds in our hotel room at the Sheraton Myrtle Beach I quickly claimed one as mine.
Long Car Rides with Dogs — Tip #3 Organization
The Lady is kind of a neat freak and likes to make sure we are well organized before starting our trip. This means packing a bag for me with all of my necessities: food, water, treats, poop bags, first aid and medicine. She forgot a blanket this year to cover the beds with for me to sleep on. After buying a beach towel and putting it on the bed, in pure Doxie fashion, I wadded it up into a heap and slept on the pillows.
This year the Lady had a chance to try out a new product for my food and water. Vittles Vault® Travel-tainer from GAMMA2 keeps my food fresh, in a portable, airtight, food grade plastic container.
The the two bowls fit on each end of the canister, held on with the handle which just pops out. There’s an airtight lid over the canister that holds six cups of food. Then you have a bowl for water and food. The Lady loved using this, it easily stored on the floor in the back seat, in reach for water breaks at rest stops.
I never get breakfast before long car rides because it can upset my stomach and no one wants a dog throwing up in the back seat while they’re driving. I also get a small portion of Pepcid, or Cerenia from the vet, to take before we leave to prevent an upset stomach.
I hope you’ve enjoyed our tips for taking long car rides with dogs! Safe travels!