It’s summer! It’s safe to move around and travel, and who better to adventure with than your pup pal! Let’s take a moment with Lucy & Maggie to be sure your canine family members are ready to rock and roll on that summer road trip.
That’s right! Your pup friends need to be safe on road trips, too. We like to use a leash that buckles directly to the seat belt receiver. When it’s just mom + pup, Lucy and Maggie ride up front and we shorten the leash length to prevent too much movement.
When the whole family is traveling, Lucy has a seat in the middle of the back seat so she’s elevated and comfortable, and we buckle into a seat belt in the back seat. (and because we’re usually headed to the woods, we’ve got a durable seat cover on the back seat which we can shake out or hose off if needed!)
Keep everyone hydrated!
This goes for both pup and people, so always make sure you’ve got plenty of water and a dish for your pup. We have a water bottle with the dish integrated for hiking, and when we’re in the car, one of the cup holders is just right for Lucy’s collapsible bowl. (You’ll see a photo in a later tip of Lucy enjoying some low sodium and onion/garlic chilled bon broth for a sunny Yappy Hour party. Don’t forget the allure of chicken if your pup is hesitant to drink.)
Speaking of keeping cool...
Try a cooling collar or vest when things heat up a little! Lucy and Maggie both use cooling collars which work on evaporative cooling. Remember that pups don’t sweat like people, so we need to help them out with evaporation. And when it’s too hot, we just stay in the air conditioning or the pool.
We spend our weekends camping, but before you hit the road with your pup, be sure you log some practice time with your camping equipment. It can be scary for your little one to suddenly be in a tent or camper if they’ve never seen or smelled it before. Spend some time before your trip in whatever gear you’re using, and be sure to bring the treats!
At the campsite
We always have fresh water available, usually in two places. We also invested in a double camping chair so Maggie could sit with one of us, and Lucy has found this setup to be perfect for her, as well. Consider a double camp chair so your pup has a place to perch with you for those evenings around the campfire!
When you’re at the park or campground, make sure you have a solid harness, line, and leash setup. Lucy and Maggie are never without this setup, and in lots of places it is required. We use a high tensile strength but lightweight rope attached to the hitch of our tiny camper and carabiner this to the harness. This gives Lucy quite a bit of room to roam and smell things and lounge in the woods without straying too far from mom and dad. (we also use this setup at home since we do not have a fenced in yard.)
Hiking can be tiring
So bring a backpack to pop your pup into when the terrain gets a little rough. Maggie loved riding in her backpack where she could get all the smells and see what was happening, but also got to rest and save her energy for the most important thing -- sniffing the world around her. Lucy has a little more zip when it comes to hiking, but when she’s done for the day she is DONE. We like the Kurgo G-Train for the integrated frame that keeps the air flowing and can be fitted to the wearer like a backpacking pack.
Bring along some comforts from home when you’re going someplace new. It’s exhausting to do all that sniffing and nature watching. Bring along a comfy portable dog bed and a favorite toy or two for your pup to unwind after a long day of exploration. Lucy has a little set of toys that live in the camper, so it’s always exciting to revisit those old friends.
Safety on the water is always top priority.
Just like humans should have (and preferably wear) a USCG certified PFD (US Coast Guard certified personal flotation device, aka life jacket) when boating, your pup should have the same. Lucy and Maggie wear life jackets any time we are near the water in case they should find themselves in a little deep. Lucy’s life jacket has a special float under her chin to nudge that little nose up.
Make sure you’re seen!
If you’re hiking in the fall, get a blaze orange bandana and a brightly colored tee shirt for your pup...and even better try to hike where hunting is not allowed. In the dusk and evening, get a light or light up collar for your pup friend so they are easily seen and identified when you’re out on that evening stroll.
Most importantly, HAVE FUN with your little bestie!
Kirsti spends most weekends April-October trying to get out to the woods with her little Scamp trailer, her pup, and her husband Steve. Kirsti & Steve are honored to have been chosen to parent Maggie as a senior adoption, and upon Maggie’s passing adopted Lucy Lew. Both were adopted through Midwest Boston Terrier Rescue, and we are so thankful to the volunteers, fosters, coordinators, Board, and founders for facilitating such incredible joy in our lives.