There are so many reasons to hit the highway with your beloved pal!  Maybe you've been cooped up due to winter weather.  Or those gloomy gray skies have you down.  Maybe the mercury is climbing higher every day and you have begun thinking about embarking on a sunny adventure by way of the open road.  

Whether you're thinking about taking a vacation to visit relatives, lounge on the beach or explore some of the country's beautiful national parks, bringing your lovable pooch along for the ride can make the trip even more fun. However, as a caring pet parent, it's your responsibility to make sure your dog stays happy and safe during the course of your travels. After all, being cooped up in a car for hours on end can take its toll on anyone - particularly pets.

Here are some tips to keep in mind as you hit the road in search of adventure this summer.

Prep Work

If your pooch has only been in your car a handful of times, suddenly traveling across the country can be quite a shock for him. Because of this, you might want to spend a little time helping your dog get used to sitting in the car for extended periods. A few days before your trip, take a few joy rides around town so you can minimize the inherent stress of traveling that dogs often experience.

Make Plenty Of Stops

When you're on the road, it helps to stop and stretch your legs occasionally to break up the monotony of the trip. This is especially important when you're riding with your dog, who is used to wandering around the house and yard at his leisure.

Providing a quick break for your pup to drink some water, enjoy a snack (NubOnubs make the perfect 'on-the-road' mini-meal) to keep up his strength, run around a bit and take a potty break can help relieve tension and make your vacation more manageable for him.

Comforts Of Home

Along with healthy foods, you'll want to pack a few of your pooch's favorite things to keep him happy during the trip. Consider bringing some of the comforts of home like a favorite toys, a soft blanket and his usual water bowl to recreate some of his familiar surroundings in the car.

Safe And Secure

While you might be tempted to let your dog have free rein of the car so he doesn't get uncomfortable, this can actually be quite dangerous.

An uninhibited pet could become a major distraction for you while driving, so you'll want to make sure your pooch is safe and secure. If you don't have someone who isn't driving to watch over your pup in the backseat, you'll need to limit your dog's movement to a travel crate or a doggy seatbelt

With just a bit of pre-trip preparation, you can be on the road and off to new adventures with your pup!