Tips for keeping your dog secure when you take off on your off-roading road trip with your dogs.
A Guide for Off-Roading with your dogs.
If your dog loves to ride in the car and take quick trips, then take it a step further and try off-roading with your dogs. With all the bouncing around, noise, and steep inclines, not all dogs will enjoy off-roading.
Off-roading with your dog can be a fun adventure for both you and your dog, but it’s important to keep you and your dog safe.
This includes both in the vehicle while off-roading and for your time at the park, whether you are waiting for your turn or camping for the night.
Before you hit the trail with your furry friend, here are some tips for off-roading with your dog.
7 Dog Tips to Keep your dog Safe
1. Make Sure they allow Dogs
Not all trails allow dogs, so always check that the park you are going to allow dogs.
If they allow dogs, be sure you know what the rules and expectations are.
- Some will require that all dogs are on a leash, so make sure you bring a leash.
- Some have restricted areas where dogs are not allowed.
- If you are camping at a separate location, be sure to check the rules for pets there too.
2. Pack Supplies for Your Dog
While you’re packing for your off-roading trip, make sure you pack supplies for your dog and for yourself.
When making your list, consider the following items:
Leash - Always carry a spare leash when you’re going camping. You never know when you’re going to need it.
Travel crate - If your dog needs to sleep in a crate, they have portable crates that you can purchase and take with you on the trip.
Dog food - Bring plenty of food and water when off-roading with your dog. Off-roading can be an all-day event, so make sure you’re packing all the dog essentials you will need.
Fresh water - Carrying fresh water for your dog is as essential to your dog as it is to you.
Dog first aid kit - Purchase a dog first aid kit. It’s a great to have a first aid kit for you and yourself.
Waste bags - Carrying both doggie bags and waste bags to store your garbage or dog poop.
If you are also camping, use a tie out or some other way to keep your dog secure in the camping area. Not only can your dog get lost if he or she wanders off, but predators can also pose a potential danger.
If your dog has a blanket or bed that he likes to use, bring it so he feels secure with items that smell like home during your trip.
3. Pest Protection
You probably remember to pack your own bug repellant spray, but don’t forget about pest protection for your dog. Make sure that he or she is up to date on vaccines and heartworm prevention medication.
Talk to your vet about flea and tick prevention. Your dog will probably spend more time outside during an off-roading trip, so there might be a higher chance of getting fleas or ticks.
Your vet will help you determine which flea and tick prevention will work best.
4. Secure Your Dog
The rough terrain on the trail can be jarring for your dog, which can be dangerous. Always practice good safety and use a harness for your dog to keep him or her safe.
A chest harness is an excellent choice. Look for one that goes over your dog’s head and fits close to the chest to reduce the chance of a neck injury.
You can then attach the dog’s harness to a seat belt adapter. This lets you clip your dog’s leash from the harness to the seatbelt so your dog is secure.
You can give your dog enough room to look at the window if he enjoys that.
You may be tempted to hold your dog while off-roading, but this can be unsafe for both you and your dog.
If you are off-roading in an SUV, you can also use a barrier to turn the back cargo area into a safe area for your dog.
You should still use a harness or other way to secure your dog so he or she can’t jump out.
5. Do a Trial Run
Before you head to the trails for an off-roading adventure, do a trial run with the safety gear that you used. Put your dog’s harness on him or her and then use your enclosed cargo area or the seat belt tether.
If your dog doesn’t tolerate the harness or barrier well, then you may have to do a few more trial runs before he’s ready to go off-roading on a trail.
Practice using the harness at home, so he gets used to that and then work on helping him feel comfortable in the car.
Use your dog’s new portable travel dishes and any other new accessories for the trial run so your dog gets used to using them.
6. Take Your Dog With You at All Times
Keep your dog close to you while you are off-roading and at the campsite if you are camping.
It’s always a good idea to tie your dog at the campsite, but don’t leave your dog there alone. Wild animals could come to the camp area and hurt your dog.
Don’t let your dog run or walk around the trail. You or another driver could hit the dog, and you don’t want your dog to get scared from a loud noise and run off.
7. ID Your Dog
No matter how careful you are with your dog, mistakes and accidents can happen.
Make sure your dog has a sturdy collar with a name tag with your dog’s name and your phone number.
You might always want to consider getting your dog micro-chipped in case their collar comes off. Most vets will check for a microchip for free, and this could help you get reunited with your dog if you get separated.
These 7 dog tips for off-roading with your dog will help you and your dog stay safe while on the trail.
Not all dogs will like off-roading, but some will enjoy this thrilling adventure whether you camp there.
Your dog’s safety should be your top priority, and his comfort is a close second.
Off-roading with your dog can take some planning and even a few trial runs, but it can be a fun experience for both you and your dog.