Winter Road Tripping Tips

 

Boots and Bee Photography - By Brittany Graham

Boots and Bee Photography – By Brittany Graham

All you need is the plan, the road map, and the courage to press on to your destination – Earl Nightingale

Road tripping with your dog can be a little stressful sometimes. However, road tripping during the winter can be even more stressful! Snow and cold temperatures make it more difficult than in the summer months. However, it shouldn’t stop you and your pup from getting out there and going on new adventures! So here are some tips on how to make Winter Road Tripping a little easier.

Plan Out Your Stops

It’s cold out these days, which can make rest stops a little tricky. If you have more than one of you in the car, alternate who gets to go into the rest stop. This ensures someone is always with the dog. If you can’t guarantee that, go quickly and make sure you keep the heat on in the car for your dog.

Get Creative with Activity

Each time you stop, you should allow your dog some time to let out some energy. Now, your normal rest stop isn’t going to have a dog park so you’ll need to get creative with it. Find some park benches he can jump up and over or take a few laps around the outside of the parking lot. Now, if there’s snow that’s even better! The plows will have made some nice and tall snow piles. So make your dog climb up them! He’ll have lots of fun and get out a lot of energy. Keep an eye out for signs that your dog is too cold like shivering or lifting of the paws. But you don’t need to do this for very long. You’ve got places to be! Just a few up and downs on the snow piles will be enough to get out a little more energy.

Loving the blankets

Loving the blankets

Blankets, Blankets, Blankets

Make sure you have some blankets in the back seat for your pup. Now, using blankets that smell like you or your dog are even better. It makes them a little more comfortable because it smells familiar and safe. It will help them settle into the drive a little easier. Also, in case of an emergency, you will have blankets for you and your dog to keep warm with. Now, no one wants that to happen, but it’s always good to be prepared.

Bundle Up

Along the lines of emergencies, just in case anything should happen or if the temperature should drop drastically, it’s not a bad idea to have a sweater or coat on hand for your pup. Any extra warmth will be appreciated by your four legged friend. It’s always good to be prepared!

Preferably you would bundle your dog in a coat and not this mummy type blanket style Porter is trying to pull off here

Preferably you would bundle your dog in a coat and not this mummy type blanket style Porter is trying to pull off here

A Few of Their Favorite Things

On any road trip, make sure you have a few toys that your dog loves that they can entertain themselves with while you’re driving. Anything to help them not be quite as bored is helpful. Remember, you’re trying to make this drive as comfortable and enjoyable as possible for everyone.

If you have any more winter road trip advice for you and your dog please feel free to share!

Keep calm and pilot on

Danika Migliore
Darwin Dogs, LLC
Dog Training in Cleveland, OH

Enjoying the Imperfections

 

Boots and Bee Photography by Brittany Graham

Boots and Bee Photography by Brittany Graham

The other day, I was talking to my cousin who shows horses. He trains horses as well and is very much part of the equestrian community in New England. I was discussing how sometimes I don’t mention I’m a dog trainer because Porter is a goofball and I feel as though there is this stigma that my dog should be perfectly well behaved. He, in pretty blunt terms, said that was a ridiculous thing to think because animals are always an unknown.

The idea of having the most perfectly well behaved dog is, quite honestly, boring. Think about some of the greatest stories you have of your dog. I bet that at least a few of them involve some mischievous endeavors.

Boots and Bee Photography by Brittany Graham

Boots and Bee Photography by Brittany Graham

We can’t be perfect owners. No one can. That goes for us trainers too. Why? Because we’re working with dogs. They’re an animal and they can’t be made into robots. Which is the greatest part about them.

Maybe we’re too quick to judge each other as owner’s as well. I am completely okay with your dog misbehaving on a walk, heck I’m even okay if your dog lunges at my dog, as long as you do something about it. Does it look like you’re putting effort into your dog? Are you trying to step in front and gain control of the situation? If so, then kudos to you. I’ve been there. I’ve had the dog that isn’t acting perfectly. It’s okay. You’ll get there.

It’s when nothing is done. This idea of passiveness. This idea that everything my dog does is okay. That’s when I have a problem. Effort is needed in order for me to respect you as an owner. Not perfection. Just some effort into making sure your dog is leading a balanced life.

Boots and Bee Photography by Brittany Graham

Boots and Bee Photography by Brittany Graham

So throughout this week, try and not focus on the level of perfection you need to hit for you and your dog. Instead take advantage of creating a balanced week with piloting, activity and work as well as some laughs. Take some time to notice the goofy things your dog does because he’s not perfect. Maybe you find him in the warm laundry, or sneaking into the kitchen where he’s not allowed. Correct the behaviors you don’t want, but realize that they’re occurring because your dog is still a dog and is not a robot designed to follow your every move. Focus less on perfection and more on the quality of life for you and your dog.

The relationship between a dog and their owner is one of the most pure relationships out there. So don’t take it for granted and enjoy every moment. The rainbow bridge comes too soon.

Keep calm and pilot on

Danika Migliore
Darwin Dogs, LLC
Dog Training in Cleveland, OH