Thanksgiving is the perfect time of year to get the entire family together – even the four-legged members. When you are getting packed up and preparing to take your pup along on a trip, it’s important to take a few common sense rules of the road into consideration. If you’re traveling with your dog for Thanksgiving, check out these tips to ensure a safe, enjoyable trip for your entire family.

Traveling With Your Dog for Thanksgiving – The Essentials

Traveling with a pet is a lot like traveling with a child. Make sure to bring along all the usual essentials like food, water, treats and a leash. Also, make sure your dog’s license and identification tags are securely attached to his collar. If you have moved or changed your phone number recently, make sure the information on the identification tag is up-to-date. If your pup has a microchip, make sure the information stored on that is current as well.

You may also want to bring along copies of vaccination and important health records, just in case your pet needs to see a vet while you’re on vacation.

Plan Frequent Pit Stops

You may be able to endure a long journey without stopping to stretch your legs, but your canine travel buddy needs frequent exercise and potty breaks. When traveling with your dog for Thanksgiving, plan to leave early enough to give yourself time to make several stops.

Image of a white Havanese dog on standing on a path

When traveling with your dog, pit stops are a must

Most rest areas have designated pet areas where your dog can go for a walk and relieve himself. Just remember to bring along cleanup bags to remove your pet’s waste. Also, never let your dog run off-leash unless you make a pit stop at a fenced-in off-leash dog park.

Practice Restraint

Unrestrained dogs are a serious safety risk. In addition to distracting the driver, unrestrained pets are much more likely to be injured in the event of an accident. All dogs should be crated or harnessed when in a moving vehicle. If you opt for a crate, make sure it is well-ventilated and stable inside your vehicle. If you would prefer to harness your dog, choose a high-quality travel harness that hooks into your car’s seat belt.

Remember that no matter what type of restraint you use, pets are always safest in the back seat.

Keep the Windows Up

If the weather is warm, your furry travel buddy would probably love to stick his head out the window. While it may be your dog’s favorite part of a car ride, it can be quite dangerous. Insects and flying debris can cause serious injuries to dogs with their heads out the window.

White Labrador Retriever dog traveling by car sticking his head out the window

Dogs don’t realize the danger of sticking their heads out the window

Also, you should never travel with your dog in the back of a pickup truck.

Watch Food Intake

Just like people, some dogs get carsick. This is especially true for dogs who are not used to traveling. To avoid any unpleasant messes, keep feeding while traveling to a minimum. While you are traveling with your dog for Thanksgiving, make sure your dog has his normal food.

Avoid sharing your truck stop or fast food fare to help keep sensitive tummies happy, and don’t offer too many treats along the way.

Keep Your Pup Hydrated

When you stop to walk your dog, don’t forget to provide some fresh water. If your pet suffers from carsickness while traveling, offer ice cubes instead of water. They take longer to “drink”, and they tend to be easier on sensitive stomachs.

Plan Ahead When Traveling With Your Dog for Thanksgiving

If it will take a few days to reach your destination and you need to stay at hotels along the way, it’s important to plan ahead. Look for pet-friendly hotels along your route, and make reservations early to ensure that you will have a place to stay.

Chocolate Labrador dog lying on a hotel bed

Make sure you find pet-friendly hotels along your travel path

Request a room on the first floor and inquire about where you can take your pet for a walk. A little bit of forethought will make traveling with your dog for Thanksgiving easier and more enjoyable.

Enjoy a Happy Thanksgiving with Your Pet

Traveling with your dog for Thanksgiving can be a fun experience for the entire family. It’s important, though, to plan ahead and follow some general rules of the road to keep everyone in the vehicle safe and happy.

By following the simple tips outlined above, you can ensure a great trip for your dog and your entire family.

Traveling With Your Dog this Thanksgiving