If your loves in life include pets and traveling, then you are going to find that there are always compromises to be made in order to enjoy both. Even the most independent animals are going to need some looking after when you’re away, regular feeding and general care included. That, or you’re going to need to bring them with you. Traveling with a pet can be a very enjoyable process if you’re driving to a cabin in the woods for a few days – but what if your travel plans are a bit more long-ranging?

Here, we are going to look specifically at long-distance traveling with a dog, and focus on the things you can do to ensure that the voyage is trouble-free, unrestricted, and enjoyable for all concerned. Not least of all, we’ll see how you can make it fun for your pet, the one member of your traveling party who doesn’t have a voice in all of this.

Ensure there is space to stretch out

Although we’ve all cooed and marveled at the spectacle of a dog with its head out the window of a moving car, driving can be a nervous time for a canine, and they’ll usually seek comfort on the drive. In some cases, that will involve cuddling up to someone in the car, but if it’s just you and the dog – and you’re driving – or even if the dog just wants to rest, it will need both the space and the environment to lie low for a bit and even sleep for most of the journey.

If you need to take two cars to accommodate it, then consider that worthwhile. A blanket on the back seat and a few chew toys can keep your pet occupied for the duration of the trip.

Keep your dog active

With the exception of a few breeds, like greyhounds, dogs will often want to get exercise wherever they are. This matters for both the pet and yourself, as the last thing you want is for your pooch to bound excitedly around a moving vehicle. Factor in some stop-offs, and even a bit of a hike, during the journey. Equipped with a handy dog bug out bag, you can bring along some toys and treats while your canine chum burns off some excess energy. Better yet, it gives you a chance to stretch your legs, which is always beneficial and healthy when driving long-distance.

Research pet-friendly attractions and accommodation

A trip is, generally, as exciting as the destinations and attractions you feature in your itinerary, so it takes a bit of forward planning to get the best of it. When planning, it is important to focus on destinations that will be pet-friendly. Whether that means favoring national parks or picking a holiday rental that allows dogs, the advance research will allow you to plan a journey you can enjoy, while not being forced to leave your dog in kennels for the duration. Alternatively, you can take some tips on how to make compromises so at least some of you can visit non-pet-friendly destinations.

A long trip with your canine chum can be a hugely enjoyable time, as long as you make the necessary adjustments and decisions ahead of time. Take the chance to research where you’re going and consider who’s coming along, and the trip will only be enhanced by bringing the dog along.