VanLife On Paws: Tips For Road Trips With Your Dog

No one wants to leave their best friend at home. That sad, droopy tail. Those mournful puppy dog eyes that plead “Pweeease take me with you.” Well we’re here to say to all the VGDs out there (that’s Very Good Dog, of course), “Aww of course you’re coming with! Come on, buddy. Hop on in and let’s take a road trip!” Here are some tips for taking a road trip with your dog, courtesy of our friend, Scout the Golden Retriever.

Top 5 Tips For Road Trips With Your Dog

TIP #1: Make sure you book a pet-friendly van! If you’re going to be borrowing or renting a camper van for your road trip, you’ll want to make sure that the owners are cool with having your pup onboard. Pet hair can not only add to the cleaning time in between renters, but there may be allergy concerns where a zero-pet policy needs to be in place. Luckily, GoCamp has dozens of pet-friendly camper vans to choose from!

TIP #2: Make sure your ride is pet-approved! If you’ve got the clearance from the camper van owner, double check that the van will be a good fit for your dog. You’ll need to allow room for her bed, or crate, and easy access in and out of the vehicle.

TIP #3: Make time to stretch! If your knees are starting to buckle from being bent in drive mode for too many miles, you can bet your pup needs to wiggle too! She’s going to need pee breaks and romps if she’s going to take to van life with wagging enthusiasm, so slow your roll, and allow time for plenty of downward-facing dogs along the way.

“We made sure to stop and allow Scout lots of exercise before any long leg of the trip so he was nice and tired.”

TIP #4: Know Thy Woof. Not all doggos are hounding for a round trip. Some would be very happy to stay home and bark at squirrels out the back door. So just be sure you’re confident that your pooch is going to have as good a time on the road as you are, and that she’s set up properly to have all her needs met while traveling, including plenty of fresh water, familiar food, and comforts from home.

“We brought Scout’s small bed from home so he’d have a place of his own in the van that had the scent of home on it. Seemed to help keep him more calm & comfortable.”  

TIP #5: Don’t forget the poop bags. Obvious? Maybe. Until there you are, on a hike or at a public park, and then you-know-who has to do you-know-what and there you are, caught empty-handed. Ew.

Most importantly, remember that your dog friend needs to be considered in every aspect of your road trip plans. A camper van can be an incredibly comfortable ride, whether you have fingers or paws, but no one wants to be left locked inside alone.

Thank you to Scout and his human friend, Melissa, for sharing their tips with us!

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