How to Plan the Perfect Road Trip with a Senior Dog? Well, For many adventurous pet owners, taking their four-legged companion with them on their next trip is ideal. Taking your pup with you on your next road trip will certainly make the journey more memorable.
Not only that, but it also eliminates the need to look for a pet sitter or pet boarding service. Travelling with your best dog friend definitely has its ups and downs, but one thing is for sure — it can get a little tricky once your pup enters its golden years.
In addition to the usual preparations you need to make when going on a long car ride with any dog, there are several other factors you need to consider.
As your dog advances in age, it may have some special needs that require extra care and attention to ensure comfort and safety during your journey.
There are some dog breeds that have predispositions to certain health problems as they age. For instance, Beagles and Dachshunds are known to inherit idiopathic epilepsy.
Meanwhile, cross-breeds like the Mini Groodle are known to inherit genetic conditions common to both Golden Retrievers and Poodles. Although it is generally a healthy breed, it is at a higher risk for developing ear infections and hip dysplasia.
It’s important to read comprehensive guides on your dog to see what kind of problems you can expect with your particular breed. Some Responsible pet breeders will also be able to give you some information on what to expect. More than that, here are a few tips that will help you prepare for your next road trip with your furry companion:
10 Must Follow Tips on Roadtrip With Your Senior Dog
- Bring Your Dogs Familiar and Favourites Items. ( Toys, Food, Drinks Etc.)
- Get Your Senior Dog Health checked by Vet before Travel.
- Avoids Long Travels, Always Take Breaks.
- Bring Along Stairs or Portable Ramp to Help dogs in Mobility.
- Make Prior Boookings For Stays to Avoid last minutes Rush or Confusions.
- Always Brings Basic Medical Aids, Dog Litter Bags and Poop Solutions.
- Keep Your Dog Updated with Microchips and Proper Vaccinations.
- Make Sure Dog Doesn’t Suffers from Motion Sickness Or Similar Issues Bring Vet Recommened Medicines to control it.
- Protect The canine Joints, Aged dogs are prone to ligament damage due to jerks.
- Keep you Nerves Low and Calm, And Always Have a backup plan
Planning the Perfect Road Trip with an Older Dog
Tip #1 – Schedule pit stops on your dog’s schedule.
As you begin mapping out which route to take, you may be taking note of gas stations and rest stops where you can make a pit stop to stretch your legs and go for potty breaks every few hours.
However, this may not be the best way to keep your older pup comfortable. As they advance in age, dogs may take longer to find a comfortable position to rest their bones and fall asleep.
Even if your dog usually enjoys car rides, waking them up too often can make them anxious and uncomfortable, especially if your senior dog has arthritis.
Instead, it’s best to look out for signs that indicate a need for the bathroom or stretch their legs.
Having an idea of locations where you can pull over will still be useful to accommodate your dog’s schedule.
Tip #2 – Pack all the essential items.
Packing the right supplies and senior dog care products is crucial to planning a senior dog-friendly road trip.
Having certain items on board will help make your older pup feel more comfortable and relaxed. Here are a few examples:
Water Bowl and Water –
Our four-legged companions need to rehydrate regularly and as they get older, they may need to drink water more frequently.
This is an aspect to consider if you are driving somewhere with a warm, humid temperature. A handy travel water bowl will help ensure your pup stays hydrated.
- Gravity Waterer: This 1 Gallon cat and dog water bowl dispenser slowly dispenses filtered water to prolong time between refills. Perfect for pet parents with busy lifestyles. Use with replaceable Petmate Replendish charcoal filters
- Automatic Water Bowl: For cats and dogs and ensures pets have easy access to an extended supply of fresh water. For convenient refills and cleaning, the bottle is easy to unscrew from the bowl base of the dog and cat waterer
- Keep It Fresh: Each Replendish Waterer comes with a Charcoal Filter already installed for use; Waterer is made with BPA-Free PET plastic making it safe for your pets and is Made In The USA
- Petmate: Delivering quality pet products and peace of mind to pet parents for over 60 years, Petmate is passionate about providing fun, trusted, quality products to enhance the lives of pets and their families
- Just For Pets: Petmate makes a variety of pet products for dogs, cats, birds, and other furry friends; Check out our brands such as Aspen Pet, Arm & Hammer, Booda, Chuckit, and more
Blanket Pads –
A high-quality blanket pad can add more cushion for added comfort while absorbing moisture.
This item is a must-have for your road trip if your older dog has incontinence, as it can be a really handy way to keep your car seats clean and dry.
- Four Innovative Layers – These reusable pee pads feature a breathable, quilted top layer for comfort, super absorbent core that traps moisture, PVC waterproof bedding shield, and non-slip safety coating,
- Superior Absorbency – Offering nearly twice the absorbency as our competitors, our 340 GSM polyester/rayon “soak” layer helps keep liquids and odors better locked away so as not to damage flooring or bedding,
- Adorable, Pet-Friendly Pattern – large pee pads are not only softer and more absorbent, they each feature super cute paw and bones pattern that better matches your dog’s toys, gear, bowls, and accessories,
- Washable and Easy to Clean – Machine wash safe and extra durable, cleaning this washable pee pad is simple, fast, and effective. More importantly, with regular maintenance it won’t retain odors or stains,
- Slip Resistant Bottom – The bottom of our reusable puppy pee pads features a non-slip coating to keep it from moving around on tile, hardwood, carpet, linoleum, or other slick surfaces to keep your pet stable and safe.
Familiar Items –
Aside from more functional pet care items, it also helps to pack familiar items that your dog simply adores.
Your senior dog’s favorite blanket, toys, or bedding with familiar scents can add a touch of home.
This can be a great source of comfort for your senior dog, especially if it tends to get anxious when plucked from its normal routine.
Tip #3 – Find pet-friendly accommodations.
It goes without saying that while traveling with your dog, be sure to find a place that accommodates pets.
Unless you will be traveling in a recreational vehicle, you may need to book a place to stay for a night or two if you are going to be on the road for a few days.
Another factor to consider is your senior dog’s mobility. If your older pup has arthritis, opt for a place with an elevator or ramp to avoid placing pressure on its joints. Unless you can carry your dog, going up and down the stairs may be a problem.
Tip #4 – Install travel safety products for your senior dog.
If your senior pup loves to go on car rides, it may have a tendency of sticking its head up in the front seat or climbing from the back seat to the front.
If your dog tends to jump around, consider installing a car barrier. Most car barriers can be attached to car seats and will keep your senior dog safely behind them.
A car barrier can prevent your dog from blocking your field of vision or distracting you as you drive.
For larger dog breeds, you may also want to bring a dog ramp with you. Dog ramps can be incredibly useful for helping your senior pup enter and exit your vehicle safely.
This is especially helpful if your dog has arthritis or mobility issues that may make it uncomfortable to jump.
- CONTINUE ADVENTURES TOGETHER: Use the folding ramp to help your best friend get in and out of your car, minivan or SUV all by themselves
- SAFETY TESTED & DURABLE: This strong ramp is independently tested and rated to support pets up to 150 lb
- LIGHTWEIGHT: Weighs only 10 pounds so the ramp is easy to carry and lift in and out of the car between stops
- NO SLIPPING: High traction surface and side rails keep your furry friend from slipping or falling when walking on the ramp
- SIMPLE TO STORE: Ramp easily folds in half and locks with the safety latch to let you conveniently store it in your vehicle
Tip #5 – Create a backup plan.
You may have followed the above tips and prepared for your upcoming trip. However, plans can sometimes fall apart while you are on the road. In case there are changes in accommodation and other factors, it helps to be prepared.
Most hotels, restaurants, and other establishments have restrictions regarding pets, so be sure to add a few more pet-friendly places to your list just in case.
Travelling with an older dog is quite a different experience than with a younger pup. As your dog gets older, its needs may change and become more complex.
By preparing adequately, you ensure a safe, comfortable, and memorable journey ahead.
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