How to Keep Your Dog Entertained on a Road Trip

You and pup are ready for a vacation and you’ve got the road trip of a lifetime planned. While the destination is filled with adventure and fun, you can’t forget about the journey. When it’s time to go the distance with your pup, be sure that they are having just as much fun as you. Read on to learn how to keep your dog entertained on a road trip so they’ll stop barking, “Are we there yet?”

Play Enrichment Games

Your dog’s favorite blanket keeps her calm at home, imagine how soothing it’ll be on the road! It smells like home and provides a comfy place to sleep, but there’s more… you can use it for easy enrichment on the road! All you do is crumple the blanket and scatter some treats in the folds to hide them. Pup has to use her nose to “solve the puzzle” and find her snacks.

Self-Soothe with a Road Trip Snack

Wondering what to give your dog for the long road trip? We like to imagine everything being easy breezy when it comes to our dog, but if your dog is a bit too excited (or anxious) for this drive, give him a chew that’s hemp-infused.

Let Him Watch Nature Videos for Dogs

Wow, more ocean as we drive down Highway 101? Groundbreaking. We get it, you’re appreciative of the beautiful views but they may start to look a bit repetitive after a while. Pull out one of the oldest parenting tricks in the book: screen time. All you need is a headrest mount for your phone or tablet, and queue up an episode of TV For Dogs, filled with all the birds and squirrels her heart could desire.

This is probably best for the dogs that are just watchers and not hunters; we’d hate for them to get too interactive while you’re driving! 

Roll Your Window Down

Probably the easiest on this list–let your dog feel the breeze in their fur! As you drive through some of the most beautiful landscapes (and maybe some of the ugliest), there are new smells for your dog to enjoy. This sensory enrichment will keep him entertained as he tries to discern what is what. Unlike you, he can’t wait to breathe in the smells of the cow farm on the side of the road.

Don’t forget to keep your pup safe with the windows down! Strap him in with a seat belt and make sure the windows are locked at a safe level. Let him explore the smells, but not literally explore them. 

Bring Bones and Chews

Keeping dogs entertained can be ruff, especially if they’re not easily entertained by toys. To make sure that those pups stay busy, bring chew bones too! It’s hard for any dog to resist the sweet smells of antlers, bully sticks, or any chew that they can focus on for a while. If you’re going on a long road trip with your dog, upsize so that it’ll last longer and have a lower chance of splintering.

Give an Enrichment Toy

dog with Tall Tails pinecone toy
Tall Tails

There’s a reason enrichment toys are a must-have for every dog owner–they get the job done. Check out this pinecone toy with ridges you can fill with pup’s favorite treats and stuffing (or try some new ones!) and let them go to town. If you want to make it last even longer, freeze it before hitting the road. 

Teach Pup New Tricks

This one is for passengers only! Keep your backseat driver occupied by having them teach your dog a new trick. There are plenty of tricks that can be taught that don’t require a ton of space, like paw, touch, or wait. As an added bonus, it’s said that teaching a dog to listen to commands while there is a lot of environmental stimulation happening makes them behave even better!

For the Anxious Dogs…

We know your bestie is going to love the destination, even if she may not be the most thrilled about the journey. Talk to your vet if there is a prescription option to help keep her calm for the drive. Also, don’t forget to pack some things familiar to them for the car ride, like their bed or a special blanket with the smells of home.

Featured photo: darutpl

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