We made it through the winter months! Spring has sprung and the weather is getting warmer day-by-day. With summer quickly approaching, I'm sure you’ll have some fun vacations planned.

Memorial Day will be here before you know it. As one of my personal favorite holidays, I am planning a trip to Northern Michigan with my dog, Riser. Traveling with a dog can be tough, but with enough preparation, your vacation with your dog will be great!

From a young age, Riser has been on quite a few road trips. In fact, when I picked her up from her foster home, we had a 4-hour car ride back home! One of my priorities for her was to make car rides fun and exciting. When she was under a year old, I purchased a car seat for her so she had her own space in the car.

Making sure your pup has their own space with familiar smells and toys gives them a sense of security on the road. One thing I made sure Riser had in the car was her Snuggle Puppy. As a young pup, I introduced Riser to Snuggle Puppy while crate-training. Snuggle Puppy’s real-feel heartbeat and heat packs kept Riser calm while I was away at work, so it became a necessity for lengthy car trips as well!

As Riser inches closer to 2 years old, she has become a lot more comfortable in the car! Here are a few tips from one pet parent to another when it comes to going on holiday road trips with your pup.

Pack a special road trip bag

When I grab my keys and put on my jacket, Riser knows it’s time to go! In fact, when I say “wanna go,” Riser comes running! Pack a bag full of your dog's treats, toys, and more. Riser’s favorite road trip snacks are Einstein Pets PB’N Jelly Time dog treats. They’re low in calories and great for her tummy with all-natural ingredients.

Bring a special item that comforts your dog

Like humans, dogs can have issues with road trip anxiety as well. Be patient, and make sure you put time and effort into listening to their behaviors and acknowledging the situation at hand.

If your dog has something at home that they love to cuddle with, bring it!

Comforting smells from home can ease your dog’s anxiety in the car. Riser loves her Snuggle Blanket, and so do I! On a typical day I keep her blanket in the crate, but on road trips I will bring it with us. It is machine washable and soft. She will nap in the car with Snuggle Blanket or sometimes I will lay it down on the seat next to me so she feels close and comfortable.

Look up dog-friendly stops along the way

Let’s be honest, trips can get boring. Before I hit the road, I Google some dog-friendly rest areas where Riser can stretch her legs. During my travels, I have found a few truck stops that have fenced in dog parks!

Take a few test trips!

The more familiar your dog becomes with car rides, the better! When I first adopted Riser, I took her all over with me. Whether it was to the coffee shop, to get gas, or even to work, Riser came with me everywhere. Take a few test trips around the block, or even to a local dog park, to get your dog used to being in the car! It takes time, but after a while your dog will get used to your car!

The  Snuggle Puppy Blog has many tips and tricks for new dog parents. As a fellow dog mom, I’d recommend checking out ‘Top 10 Puppy Training Tips’. All dogs have different personalities and respond differently to behavioral techniques, so always keep reading and learning how to comfort and communicate with your dog effectively.

From your Snuggle Puppy dog mom,

Ashley Handy