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As the owner of a very stressed out puppy dog, the thought of taking our four year old German Shepard, Jack in the car instantly gives me anxiety. He’s the type of dog who will cry and pace all way from point A to point B no matter how far these two points are. Driving to Maine from North Carolina is miserable for everyone involved as he spends the entire time pacing the back seat and barking at everyone we pass (even when they’re in their own vehicles). Toll booths and drive thru’s? We have to skip those as much as possible because he’s scared of people (thank God he’s now in training!).
I love road trips, but taking him along for the ride just not my idea of fun. That’s why we always make sure we have all the necessary tools needed to keep him as happy and entertained as we possibly can throughout our trips. And with a 45+ hour road trip coming up in a couple months, it’s extra important to have a good system in place so that it’s stress free for everyone.
Pack The Toys
During longer road trips, packing the right toys is essential. We like to pack things like bones so that he constantly has something to naw on throughout the trip. With the bone he currently has, we’re able to put peanut butter on either end of it so that he’s distracted for a bit. Toys that allow you to put treats inside them are great as well! It keeps them happy and entertained so that you’re not constantly having to tell them to lay down or be quiet.
*For your own sanity, I do not recommend toys that squeak! Think ahead. Do you really want to listen to a squeaking toy for the entire trip?
Make Them Comfortable
Just like humans, dogs need to be comfortable when they’re in the car. Jack is pretty easy in this case. For some reason, he loves squeezing himself on the floor between the back seat and the front seats. We have a Jeep so I’ve tried to put down the back seats for him so that he has all that open space and he still tries to fit into that space. So I gave up there. We also have leather seats so in the winter months, I try to keep a spare blanket in the car for him as well so that the seat isn’t too cold for him. If they’re comfortable, they’re more likely to sleep as opposed to spending the car ride crying and whining.
Don’t Forget The Treats
Treats are a lifesaver sometimes. Jack isn’t a fan of people so toll booths and drive-thru’s are a complete nightmare with him. My fingers are crossed that his training sessions help with this issue. Having treats on hand makes it a bit easier to distract him from these things so that we’re not all losing our minds every time we have to make a stop. It’s also a great way to reward him for his good behavior.
Take Breaks Regularly
The biggest thing for an anxious dog is to allow them to have the occasional break. Not just to go to the bathroom, but to get out of the car, stretch out and just relax for a bit without feeling so confined. This is the perfect time to feed them a great meal. We’ve been using Purina for a couple years now and Jack loves it! Recently we decided to try out the Purina® Pro Plan® Savor Shredded Blend and it was a hit! We just had a brand new PetSmart location open up in our area and they had tons of delicious flavors for our puppy dog. Jack tends to love the chicken and rice formula so that’s the one we went with.
Purina® Pro Plan® Savor allows us to take a moment to “paws” in the middle of our road trip and savor meal times. We only give Jack the best dog food and Purina® Pro Plan® is just that. The best. It contains high-quality ingredients including real meat, fish, or poultry and is 100% complete and balanced nutritionally for each of your pet’s stages of life. With the Purina® Pro Plan® Savor Shredded Blend formulas, your dog will have a combination of crunchy kibble and tender shredded pieces for a great mix of taste and texture. These formulas are carefully adjusted so that your dog is always getting the right about of nutrition they need to be happy and healthy. We always go with the dry dog food, but Purina® Pro Plan® Savor Shredded Blend is available in a variety of dry and wet foods as well as snacks and meal enhancements. These formulas are perfect for all dogs, including those picky eaters.
Road trips are no longer as much of a hassle as they used to be and thanks to these tools and the Purina® Pro Plan®, Jack can have a great road trip every single time!
How do you keep your pets happy during a long road trip? Have you tried out the Purina® Pro Plan® Savor Shredded Blend yet?