Summer is here! There is no better time to plan your next road trip! Of course, as a Great Dane owner planning your road trip is a little bit trickier. Here are some tips to help make your road trip with your Great Dane a success!
1) Make Room
Let’s face it, Great Danes take up a lot of room! You want to ensure that your Great Dane has enough space to be comfortable for long periods of time. The cargo area of an SUV is a great place for your Dane to stretch out and relax on long stretches of highway. If you do not have an SUV, you might want to lay the back seats down to accommodate your Dane. Of course, all of this accommodation for a dane may leave little space for your belongings so you may have to get creative. Consider a rooftop carrier or a small trailer if you really need the extra space.
Not everyone is okay with drool flying about in a drop top.
2) Don’t Forget To Pack For your GD.
While you may not need to pack a suitcase for your Great Dane, you still need to bring the necessities and some comforts of home. Depending on the length of your trip you’ll want to bring food, water, bowls, medications, leash, collar and ID tags, poop bags, dog bed, and your dog’s favorite toys. Don’t forget to bring a bag of treats or chew toys to keep your Dane occupied.
3) Go To The Vet
Before embarking on any long trip with your Great Dane you’ll want to schedule a visit with your vet. Make certain that your Dane is up to date on all of his/her shots, ask your vet about his/her fitness for travel, and if your Dane is not microchipped you should absolutely do so before you leave. It may be a good idea to talk about over the counter medications for motion sickness just in case.
4) Plan Your Lodgings
Not all hotels and campgrounds allow for pets and many will have size limits that will likely exclude your Great Dane. You will want to plan ahead to ensure that you can reach Dane-friendly accommodations on every leg of your trip. Sites like BringFido.com and DogFriendly.com are great for figuring out which restaurants and hotels on your route can accommodate dogs. Be sure to call ahead to ensure that Great Danes are welcome.
5) Take Frequent Breaks
You need to plan to stop for a bathroom break every hour or two to ensure your Dane does not get uncomfortable. The last thing you want is to be 100 miles from the next rest area with your Dane dancing around in the back because he has to pee. Stopping frequently will help avoid these types of emergencies. Take your breaks at rest areas when possible or find a secluded area far from the highway; the shoulder of the road is not a safe place for a bathroom break.
6) Allow For Time To Stretch And Refresh
Even with the extra space that you have created for your Dane, traveling in a car for long periods of time can cause discomfort. Use your bathroom breaks as an opportunity for your Dane to stretch his/her legs a bit. Walk them around the rest area for ten or twenty minutes to work out any kinks. This is also a great time to hydrate your Dane and offer them a healthy snack.
7) Pre-plan Any Sightseeing
Let’s face it, the great American road trip is all about sightseeing! If you have plans for seeing some of this county’s natural wonders like the Grand Canyon or Yellowstone be aware that there may be restrictions on where your Dane can go. It is also important to understand that these destinations are often crowded and congested. Always call ahead to ensure that your Dane is welcome and have a backup plan in place for must-see destinations that are not pet friendly. Quite often there are doggy daycare facilities available nearby, but you’ll want to reserve a spot.
8) Plan Activities For All
While tourist destinations are always a big draw for humans they are not always the safest place for your pets. Take the timer to find nearby dog parks, pet-friendly hiking trails, and other pet-friendly activities that you and your Dane will both enjoy. After all, you are taking your Great Dane on a road trip; you want him/her to have a ‘GREAT’ time!