Chasing Fall Colors with Your Dog

Summer may feel like it’s only just begun, but Fall is already sneaking up on us. The nights have a cooler, crisper feel to them; the holidays are just around the corner; and the leaves will soon be shifting from hues of green to magnificent shades of orange, red, and yellow.

As you stock up on cider and hot cocoa, you may get the itch to hit the road to chase the beautiful Fall colors. This journey, taken by many Americans annually, is a kind of welcoming ritual to the cooler seasons and gives you the opportunity to stretch your legs and snap some great pictures before the Winter arrives.

If you plan to chase fall colors with your dog, there are few key road trip tips to keep in mind that will enhance the experience for both of you. Check out a few of them below!

Do a Test Run

If your dog doesn’t travel frequently, doing a few test runs is a great way to familiarize them with their space in the vehicle. Whether this involves taking them on errands around town or enjoying a weekend trip or two before your grand adventure, providing your pup with the opportunity to get comfortable is key to a successful road trip.

This tip can be applied to dogs with some travel experience, too, if your vehicle is going to be packed full. Your furry friend may not be accustomed to the car being loaded with luggage!

Bring the Right ID

Before you embark on your epic and colorful adventure, double check your pup’s identification and records. This includes ensuring the contact information on their tag and associated with their microchip is current and correct. It also means bringing a copy of their vaccination record just in case they happen to get sick on the trip, or you need to leave them at a doggy hotel for a few days!

Be Aware of Needs

You may be able to survive on trail mix and a bathroom break every eight hours, but your pup probably cannot. Be aware of their needs as you hit the highway by packing healthy snacks, taking breaks to stay hydrated, and stopping every so often for bathroom breaks. It’s also important to remember that your dog is not accustomed to sitting in a confined space for hours on end, so consider taking a short walk whenever you stop at a rest area!

Know the Rules

Planning your trip out in advance gives you an opportunity to familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations of the areas you will be visiting. From packing a collapsible crate for hotel stays and bringing a leash to avoiding certain hikes that aren’t dog-friendly and keeping a lookout for dangerous wildlife, the activities you have planned will heavily influence how you need to prepare!

Pack Light

It can be tempting to overpack when you’re traveling, and that’s just for you! When you include your dog in the mix, the tendency to overpack skyrockets. As you sort through their abundance of toys, water bowls, treats, and more, remember that there is limited space in the vehicle and your dog will be happy with just the basics!

Enjoy the Ride

All the preparation in the world is worth very little if you don’t take the time to enjoy yourself. Stop for hand-pressed cider at the roadside stand, get out and roll around in the fallen leaves, take lots of pictures and share them shamelessly on social media, and simply embrace the wonder of the changing seasons. You’ll look back on your trip and forget the little things that went wrong or the toothbrush you forgot at home if you focus on the positive aspects of the adventure!


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