Whether you’re tooling down the Bruce Highway on your way to Cairns or the Pacific Motorway that links Sydney to Newcastle, it’s always enjoyable to get from here to there with someone you love and who loves you. And it’s safe to say that no four-legged companion adores you more than your dog. Like cereal and milk or fish and chips, pooches and people just go together, as dogs often prefer the company of humans to their canine contemporaries.

Aussies as well reciprocate that kinship, as nearly 40% of households own a dog, according to data compiled by RSPCA Australia, or what amounts to roughly 4.8 million pet dogs.

And while there’s no place a dog would rather be than with its owner, large breeds like Great Danes, rottweilers, German shepherds and mastiffs aren’t exactly cut out for the confines of a car. 

If you’re scheduling a road trip and it includes your pooch partner in crime, here are a few tips to ensure the ride gets off on the right paw:

1. Pack up pleasure

In many ways, pets are just like young children; they need pampering and some type of occupation to them from boredom and getting into things they shouldn’t. That’s why it’s important to bring along items that your dog loves. These may include certain chew toys, blankets, stuffed animals or gnaw bones that keep them occupied and content. Dogs love routine and familiarity, so these types of items can help accomplish that.

2. Bring plenty of food and water

It ought to go without saying, but it bears repeating: Your dog needs plenty of fresh water and food for the road trip. But what’s lesser known is how much is enough. There isn’t a magic number to this question, but generally speaking, according to Dogster, dogs typically lap up roughly 1 ounce of water for every pound they weigh. So do the math, and bring along bottled water they can drink from time to time. Drinking from a bowl can be difficult, but Amazon and Chewy.com have several great bottles specifically designed for dogs.

As for food, the hard kibble variety is best and in the amounts that they’re accustomed to when at home.

3. Ensure they’re buckled

What’s cuter than a goldendoodle with its head out the window and tongue flapping in the wind? Not much. Nevertheless, this can be dangerous, especially for a dog’s eyes, as you never know what could potentially fly into them when you’re travelling at high speeds, be it road dirt, debris or any number of other wayward projectiles. Your best bet to avoid this is to ensure your dog buckled up. Opening the window is fine, so long as it’s not all the way down.

4. Install a seat cover

If you like to keep your car looking spotless, Spot may preclude it from staying that way. When you make those inevitable stops, it’s only a matter of time before your dog tracks in dirt and mud, which can do a number on your vehicle’s interior. Keep the mess to a minimum by buying a car cover, which can come in various sizes and materials.

5. Talk to your vet

Motion sickness is a real thing, and it may not be something that you think your dog is vulnerable to. However, long road trips increase the chances of dogs losing their lunch. Your vet might offer a prescription or over-the-counter medicine that can keep them from feeling queasy. Your pet professional may have other pieces of advice in general, so be open to any other recommendations.

Ready to ride? Get in touch with us and we’ll set you up with a vehicle you and your dog will love.