How to plan a road trip with your Boston Terrier


How to plan a road trip with your Boston Terrier. Boston Terrier Society.
Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash

There is nothing better than being able to take your best friend with you on a road trip. This is especially true when your best friend also happens to be your dog. He’s more than happy to go anywhere you want them to and isn’t going to try and change your music in the middle of your road trip.

There are some things you need to plan for before taking off down the road with your Boston Terrier. Below we will tell you how to plan a road trip with your Boston Terrier.

Prepping the car

Tethers

First things first, cars aren’t made with furry friends in mind. You are going to need to gather some supplies to make this road trip comfortable for your animal. For starters, you need to make sure your dog will be safe during the journey.

There are many different choices out there for making car rides safe. Seat belt tethers are one of the best ways to protect your pet, tethers clip into both your dog’s harness and the seat belt buckle. Most of these tethers don’t cost more than $20 a piece. Check out the pricing of tethers on Amazon, click here for tether prices.

Seat Cover

Next, you should consider getting a seat cover. Accidents can happen even with properly scheduled breaks. By purchasing a waterproof seat cover, you can easily clean out any messes that occur on the road. This also adds additional cushion to the rear seat for your dog to relax on. Check the price for seat covers on Amazon, click here for the latest price.

Booster Seat

If your pet is small enough, you may even be able to consider a doggy booster seat. Booster seats make it easier to see out of the window while adding comfort and safety to your Boston Terriers car ride.

Travel Water/ Food Bowls

You should bring a travel water bowl in case your dog gets dehydrated. Some spill-proof water bowls can be attached to your car seats. Spill-proof dishes ensures your pet will have access to water at all times. These dishes can be particularly useful if you can’t pull over for a break. Road snacks are also a must to give your dog fuel for longer drives.

Other Must Haves

Some must-haves when preparing your car bag should be a bottle of water, a few ziplock bags of food, disposable doggy bags, treats, and wet wipes. Make sure to keep this bag somewhere you can get to quickly in case of emergencies.

Finally, you will need to ensure your pet is going to be appropriately taken care of on your journey. Make sure the heat and cold air are working correctly in your vehicle.

Hotels, ensuring they are pet-friendly

Hotel horror stories aren’t an uncommon issue when traveling with a pet. Never leave on a road trip without booking proper accommodations, especially if you’re taking your Boston along. The truth is that a lot of hotels simply don’t want to take a damage risk by allowing animals as guests.

Even worse some hotels don’t let in any dogs other than some toy sized breeds. This can be a frustrating experience when it’s late, and you’re just trying to find a place to stay for the night. Having to sleep in your car can be a huge hassle unless the weather is just right.

Use Pet Filters On Travel Sites

Use BringFido.com to find hotels, restaurants, events, and more on your trip.

If you are using other sites other than BringFido.com make sure you can filter for hotels that allow pets. This will limit your options for staying in a hotel, and you should expect to pay a pet fee. Pets usually have a hotel fee, plus a refundable deposit to cover any damages that may occur. This can easily add an extra $150 to $300 onto your hotel stay. Most of these hotels will also have a weight limit for pets. How strictly enforced the weight limit will vary by hotel to hotel.

While Boston Terriers usually aren’t on the no stay list, some hotels don’t like any type of dogs as a guest. Be advised that you may also find a lot of places have noise limits on barking.

Call The Hotel To Verify It Is Pet-Friendly

Once you find a hotel you approve of, give them a call before booking. Quite a few pet parents have shown up to a hotel only to find out they no longer allow pets, make sure the website information is correct in allowing pets. You will also want to inquire with the employees if they have a safe area for your dog to relieve themselves in. Many hotels are in the middle of cities and don’t have a proper space for a pet to use.

Finally, check to see what your dog is allowed to sleep on, some hotels have a no furniture policy in place.

Getting your dog ready by visiting a vet, shots, check up, etc

The more places you go, the more your dog will be exposed to bacteria. It’s always best to keep our dogs shots up to date, especially when you’re going to be taking them out a lot. A vet check-up before your road trip can be the perfect way to ensure your Boston’s health during the trip. This minimizes the risk of having to find an expensive emergency veterinarian hundreds of miles away from home. Try to get your dog in at least a week before your trip to guarantee any shots given have the proper amount of time to take effect.

The vet can also check to see if your dog will have any issues staying in place for long periods. This can be particularly important in older dogs who may need more cushion when traveling. A vet can also give you an idea of just how long your dog can ride in a car before becoming unhappy.

How long to travel in a car before taking a break with your Boston Terrier?

Before you hit the road, you will need to plan out stops. To do this pull up a GPS view of the route you’re going to take and mark down pit stops. You will need to research your journey to find which stops will allow your dog room to stretch and use the bathroom safely.

Most gas stations aren’t going to be a good area for your Boston Terrier to get some fresh air. You will need to look into pet-friendly rest stops along your route and enter them into your phone/ GPS beforehand.

To figure out how many stops you need to take, think about your dog’s daily bathroom habits. Most dogs can hold it in for several hours before they have to relieve themselves. You shouldn’t push this unless you run into issues on the road. I personally would try to stop every hour and a half with Bella, my Boston. This will give your dog some time to stretch their legs and relieve themselves. Make sure to pack some doggy bags to clean up messes.

Rest stops are a great place to give your pet water and food if they don’t have access to it in the car. Be sure to take your dog with you if you need to take a bathroom break. If you can’t take them with you, then lock your car door and crack the windows to ensure they have proper airflow. Always use a leash in public areas no matter how well trained your dog is. Some dogs may be tempted to follow their nose in unfamiliar settings.

Dealing With Boston Terrier Road Anxiety

If you have an anxious Boston, you still will want to take them with you. There are some wonderful ways to deal with car related anxiety. If your dog gets visibly nervous, then you can give them calming treats about 30 minutes before you plan to leave. The calming treats will have enough time to work into your dog’s system, helping them feel more relaxed as they get used to the trip. These calming relaxants can be bought on Amazon, check out options and pricing by click this link.

It also helps to put a favorite toy or blanket in the car with your dog to give them a sense of familiarity. This works exceptionally well with dogs that haven’t had much time riding with you.

If you have a more anxious dog, you will need to make sure they are secured in the back seat. This will ensure your dog won’t have a meltdown if there is a loud noise during the trip. If you have a jeep, you should consider putting them in the back with a dog blocker to restrict their access to the front of your vehicle. You can also check with your veterinarian about calming supplements to help with moderate to severe anxiety issues.

Another great tip is to take your dog on short drives before the trip. You can start by just driving around your block. Each time you go for a ride, extend the time a little bit. This way, your dog can gradually get used to being in the car for more extended periods. Rewarding your pet with treats each time they get into the vehicle can help them make a positive association. For doggy, bonus points try driving them to your local pet store to let them pick out some goods of their own.

Final thoughts…

Road trips are meant to be fun. And your Boston should experience the same fun thrill of loading up in a car and heading towards an adventure. Follow these steps, and you will be sure to have a great road trip with your Boston.

Donnie Gardner

Donnie Gardner is the owner of the Boston Terrier Society. He has been raising Bella the Boston since 2010. He resides in Kansas with his wife, daughter, and Bella. His favorite activities are hanging out with family, traveling, running (but has bad knees), and reading non-fiction books.

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