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Essential Dog Road Trip Tips that will Give Dogs the Adventure of a Lifetime

You know what’s great about dogs? True, there are so many things you could list. Is it the way their eyes light up when you come home after a long day? Is it their tail-wagging anticipation as you reach for their leash, handle a ball, or offer a treat? Is it their unconditional love and loyalty as they snuggle beside you on the couch as you watch T.V.? True, you could argue that it’s any one—or all—of these things. But one thing we dog owners can take for granted is a dog’s ability to move.

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Now, you may be thinking: ‘a dog’s ability to move? Like how they can put one paw in front of the other?’, and, in a sense, this is what we mean. Every single day, our doggos are champing at the bit to leave the house for their daily walk. Whilst cats will meow mournfully throughout a five-minute car trip, dogs—depending on their temperament, of course—tend to crave travel. Ergo, when it comes to furry friends, it follows that canines make for better car trip companions.

 

If you’re planning a road trip, why not bring your furry friend along for the ride? It will take some extra preparation—and perhaps some extra training—but it does mean that more of the family can join in the fun. And, hey—it also saves the money you would have spent on doggy daycare. Here are some essential dog road trip tips that will give dogs the adventure of a lifetime.



🚗  Research dog-friendly venues


Long before you’re packing the car, you’ll need to hop on the computer (or on your phone) to check for dog-friendly accommodation, dog-friendly restaurants, dog-friendly stores, and dog-friendly rest stops. These may not be as common as you might think, and you wouldn’t want to be left affronted by a ‘No Dogs Allowed’ sign at the 11th hour. To avoid having a
Snoopy moment, stay abreast of ever-changing venue rules and policies. Some websites, for example, may claim to be dog-friendly, whilst the reality is different.

 

You can resolve all this with a clarifying call or email. It never hurts to ask, and a quick question can save some serious stress. This doesn’t just apply to indoor venues. If you intend to break up the drive with rest stops, for example, you should plan your journey around dog-friendly parks or nature trails. If you’ve found a campsite that welcomes dogs, on the other hand, be sure to double-check their leash laws. Whilst some are cool with off-leash doggos, some want dogs restrained at all times. Other locations find a middle ground, allowing off-leash play on the caveat that dogs respond well to verbal cues. 

 

If you’re feeling stuck, check out some resources like Bring Fido or www.dogfriendly.com. These are excellent resources to help simplify the research process.

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🚗  Pack the essentials

Here comes one of the more obvious tips for travelling with a dog: packing the essentials. If your accessories can occupy a whole suitcase, surely there will be room for a small pile of dog belongings, no? Here at Stylish Hound, we have some of these covered already, such as:

• Leashes
And what a range we have, too. Being a dog owner, you likely already own a leash, but perhaps it’s time for an upgrade. Is your best friend’s lead wearing under weather conditions? Or did you buy a cheap leash that doesn’t necessarily cater to your dog’s needs? Maybe you just want to surprise your dog with a brand-spanking-new leash—kind of like a ‘road trip’ present. Whatever the reason, we have leashes galore in the Stylish Hound store.

If your dog passed obedience training with flying colours, you could get them an OG leash. If your dog needs a little ‘reining in’ (literally), our Cruise Control Obedience Leash is also an option. Its ruched elastic feature absorbs shock from leash-pullers, keeping your arms firmly in their sockets! Looking for something you can work from all angles—something extra-grippy with a double clip? Look no further than our multi-function leash: our most versatile model, fit for walking two dogs at once (no joke!). 

All our leashes come with a comfortable neoprene handle, so you can farewell that ‘rope burn’ feeling common to dollar-store leashes. They also come in a variety of designs exclusive to our online store. Pair yours with a matching collar and you’ll be travelling with a seriously Stylish Hound!

• Poop bags

“Where’s the poop, Robin?” Any responsible dog owner can tell you: not on the ground, not in the middle of the footpath, and not even ‘somewhere in the house’. It is in the bin, wrapped up in a poop bag—ideally an eco-friendly one. Stylish Hound’s poop bags are not only plastic-free, but they’re also biodegradable. Pop these in your home compost and watch them decompose within three months (well, maybe don’t watch it happen. Ew). So, what do we use instead of plastic? Corn starch, my dog-loving friends! Available in four different designs, grab your 60-, 120, or 240-pack of biodegradable poop bags today.

• 
Water bottle

On the open road, it’s wise to have a drink bottle on hand. Driving—and even passive commuting—can be thirsty work, particularly during higher temperatures. Doggos deserve nothing less—hence our Travel Water Bottles. Available in four different colours, these beauties are made from non-toxic BPA plastic and have a slideable bowl. They are ideal for long car trips, long walks, or anywhere without fresh water access. Not only will they keep your pup hydrated, but they will save them from sickness that lurks in unknown water sources.

 

Dog enrichment items

Think back to when you were a kid. Did you ever beg your parents to bring your favourite toy on a family holiday? Perhaps if you’re a parent yourself, you’ve re-lived this experience in the opposing role. Kids love their toys, and it would be cruel to not permit at least one for the journey. Because dogs have the mental landscape of a toddler, it’s not far-fetched (heh) that dogs will want toys, too. Give them some enrichment for the road—with one of our dog toys or lick bowls/mats.

For food-motivated doggos, you can’t get past the Hercules chew toy. Made from non-toxic, food-grade rubber, the Hercules toy suits dogs whose bite is worse than their bark. Fill one with food to keep your dog occupied for a while. For the less food-motivated canine, we have tug toys, which are identical to Hercules chew toys in every aspect, apart from their rope attachment. This rope facilitates a game of tug-of-war; however, it’s important to note that the rope is solely for human hands. The rope is not designed to withstand a clenched jaw, and knowing this may save you a doggy dental visit roadside or rurally (or in an otherwise unfamiliar location).

Lick bowls and mats double as enrichment and as feeding tools. By spreading mashed pumpkin, peanut butter, or any other spreadable treat throughout the products’ grooves, your dog will enjoy mental and sensory stimulation, as well as delicious food. These products are built around the philosophy of slow feeding, which gives your dog the time to absorb all nutrients, rather than ‘woofing’ them down. If you need a moment to yourself on your holiday, a lick bowl or mat may be just the thing to hold their attention. Just don’t rely on it too often, lest your dog overeats!

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Other essentials to pack

Apart from our super fun products, here is a list of other items for the ‘doggy bag’:

• Dog food/treats
• Food bowls (collapsable, for ease of travel)
• Vet records (health and vaccination records included)
• Pet first aid kit
• Any of your dog’s current medication (e.g. heartworm or flea/tick medicine)
• Dog harness, if applicable
• ID tags for collar. These should contain your name, address, and phone number. It’s also advisable to add a tag displaying the address of your road trip destination.
• Dog carrier or crate
• Doggy car seat/cover
• Car barrier.

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🚗  Secure your dog

Dogs are living, sentient beings just like you, so they deserve the same protection as you, too. It’s important to secure your dog for any car trip, whether you’re going down the road or on an extended trip. Every year, 5,000 dogs sustain injury or death on Australian roads due to improper restraining. We’d hate for that to happen to your bundle of joy, and so we have some hot tips for injury prevention and optimal canine road safety.

 

🚗  Invest in a doggy seat belt

At Stylish Hound, we have dog seat belts available in our distinctive designs. Grab one to offset or match your dog’s collar and leash! Finished with the most comfortable polyester, these belts secure to your dog’s harness, as well as the seat belt buckle. Pair it with one of our doggy car seats and you’re ready to hit the road.

🚗 
Reduce car stress

Is your dog new to long-distance trips? If so, you might want to consider travel training. So, what is travel training? In a nutshell, it’s allowing your dog to forge positive associations with your car. You can do this by placing them in the car with their favourite object or toy, or—most effectively— their kennel. Because the kennel is a ‘happy place’, they will come to associate cosy feelings with the car. Do this enough times and the concept of travel won’t be anywhere near as scary! 

 To make the road trip even more comfortable, we recommend investing in one of Stylish Hound’s doggy car seats. These, too, are items that pooches tend to associate with positive, cosy feelings.

 

🚗  Protect your car

It bears repeating that dogs are, in essence, furry, overgrown toddlers. If you go anywhere with them, there’s gonna be fidgeting as well as mess. This does not bode well with your car: your non-furry, non-sentient baby. Luckily, Stylish Hound has your car covered—literally—with our range of car seat covers. A durable, new canvas cover will take the scratches, rips, wear and tear, and general muck that cars cannot bounce back from. Grab your car seat cover is one of our distinctive designs.

🚗   Let’s get this show on the road

Including the car seats, we’ve likely covered everything shy of the kitchen sink! We’ve discussed where to go, what to bring, and how to have the safest journey possible. If you have an upcoming road trip, we hope we’ve provided some (dog) food for thought. Your dog can come along for the ride—and even ride shotgun—so long as you plan ahead, pack the essentials, and always put safety first. We hope you will find these dog road trip tips to be useful. Please check out our online store if there are any gaps in your itinerary! 

TRAVEL | STYLISH HOUND
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Diana Ramirez

AMAZING QUALITY

 

The car hammock offers many combinations, especially when there are people sharing the seat with the dog. The pockets are very spacious. We have also used it in the boot, that is one of the reasons I bought it, that can be somehow multifunctional.

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Emma Cullen

AWESOME CAR SEAT COVER

 

We bought this cover for a long 8 hour car trip. Being a great dane our boy naturally takes up the entire back seat of our small car. This hammock was great and made the ride more comfy for him and his toys. We also use it for short trips now too.

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Jo-Anne Davie

Amazing back-seat cover


Absolutely love the Gumball back seat cover. Dexter loves car trips and it is so good to have the back-seat protected and covered for him not to mention the pockets for everything you need stored in the car for your fur babies.

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Jessica Walker

Best car seat cover on the market

 

Absolutely LOVE the Wanderlust Car Seat Cover!! Oh and my pups love it too.

Really love the rubber matting on the bottom. Doesn't slide around on my leather seats.

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Sophie

LOVE THESE COLLARS!!

 

My greyhounds need martingale collars because they have little heads and big necks! These collars are thoughtfully designed with extra padding, quick release buckle, buckle lock and cute designs. Love that small dog businesses are providing accessories for greyhounds - they’re becoming such a popular pet breed as people realise how wonderful they are and how much they need rescuing from the racing industry.

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Leah Jones

Amazing !

 

Amazing at keeping the dogs contained fits my Mitsubishi ASX boot perfectly. My dogs love to swim, it always keeps the water and covers all surfaces so every when they shake in the car it always stays clean. The zips are great when travelling and we want some more room for the dogs/ luggage and passengers, can choose any seat formation and still have the car covered stopping the day long process of having to clean the hair and mud from the car. Thank you so much stylish hound, your amazing design is a life saver with some hairy adventurous border collies.

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