Traveling with dogs is fantastic but it can make things a little bit tricky. This is for a number of reasons. All the stops have to be dog friendly or the weather has to be cool enough that short periods in the car are okay. Also you want them to be comfortable too and the truth is some dogs do get anxiety in the car. If they do get anxious on long drives talk to your vet, there are a variety of options to help them from thunder shirts, to calming treats, to actual medication.
- Food – this sounds like an easy one to remember but on one overnight trip we forgot Bear’s food, thank goodness there was a store near by.
- Medications and First Aid – before going road tripping with your dog make sure they are up to date on all shots and heartworm and flee preventatives. Have a copy of their shot record either a print out or on your phone. Don’t forget to pack any daily meds, even if it is just fish oil. A small first aid kit can be a life saver too. Over Christmas Bear cut his leg on a barbed wire fence and I didn’t have anything. Thankfully my dad had some supplies for caring for injured livestock. The incident made me a believer in carrying a first aid kit.
- Water – like remembering the dog food this might sound ridiculous but it is important to ensure that your dog is healthy and hydrated. On long road trips water is essential.
- Harness – harness give you more control. They are also good for camping so that your dog is not connected to a leash on his collar for several hours. We use this harness for Bear.
- Leash – If you are like us, you might load the dog up in the car without using a leash, make sure it gets added before leaving. A spare leash is also a good idea incase something happens to the first one: left, broken, etc.
- Tie-out cable – depending on where you are staying while road tripping this may not be needed and can sometime be substituted with a leash. However, if you are camping you are not going to want to want to hold onto your dog’s leash for the whole time and most camp grounds require that dogs be leashed at all times. These tie-out cables are a great way to make sure everyone is comfortable at camp!
- Collapsible bowl(s) – these are great, they pack up small and are fairly light weight. They fold up nicely and take up little space. We have two: one stays attached to my pack for use on hikes and the other is for use around camp. You can find some here.
- Light-up collar or vest – lantern and firelight only go so far. Light-up collars or vests are a great way to track your dog at night!
- Sleeping pad or blanket -Dogs get cold too and putting something between them and the ground helps them stay warm. We have a quit that we take for Bear to sleep on while camping if he is not cuddling with us. You can find folding pads such as these.
- Dog bags – no matter where you are, on a walk, hike or at a campsite, clean up after your dog. The easiest way to do this is to remember the dog bags or a small spade to bury waste.
- Seat Covers and Car Straps – Seat covers and straps help secure your dog in the vehicle. Seat covers give dogs their space while the straps keep them secured. Most dogs like to hang their heads out the window but trust me, you don’t want the heartache and vet bills that occur if they fall or jump from the window. We use one similar to this.
- Booties – This may sound ridiculous but depending on the time of year of your road trip and the location these may save your dogs paws from being burned on hot pavement or from being cut on rocky trails. They aren’t a requirement but something to consider. Bear has these booties.
- Towels – Dogs get dirty, even if its just muddy paws on a rainy day. For long trips bring something little to help with basic grooming and cleaning.
Dogs require just as much gear as their humans and they deserve to be taken care of to the best of our abilities.
Bear’s Experience at Monument Rocks
Kansas has a LOT of great things to explore but its mostly out in the middle of nowhere and Monument Rocks are no exception. We visited on a cold and windy December day. Monument Rocks (Chalk Pyramids) are free to visit but they are on private land so be respectful. When visiting you do arrive via dirt roads, make sure your vehicle can handle the drive. Dogs do need to be on a leash.
Monument Rocks are beautiful, they sit in the middle of a wide shallow valley and stand out as giants upon the great plains. Millions of years ago they were an ancient sea bed and now they stand as a testament to an every changing world. They don’t look it but these are fragile structures. One even fell during the 1980’s that people used to climb on often.
Don’t miss the other posts in the Backroads series!
Have you ever visited Monument Rocks, if so what did you think? Do you travel with you dog or cat? Where do you think we are going next? I’d love to hear your stories in the comments! Safe travels!
Thank you KW Photography for allowing me to use your wonderful photos!
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