Yesterday, the Cascadian Nomads completed a long drive East across the country from Seattle, Washington to Buffalo, New York. Some of the legs of this drive involved over eight hours in the car. So how do three very active dogs get enough exercise on such a journey?
The day before we left, the dogs had a long walk through a busy pedestrian neighborhood and a play date. I wanted to make sure they had plenty of mental and physical stimulation before our first 8 hour driving day. To beat Seattle traffic, we left the city very early, before breakfast and only took time to potty. So about 2 hours into the drive, we stopped for breakfast and some light exercise* (about a 20-30 minute walk through a busy pedestrian area.) We stopped again about four hours later for another 30 minute jaunt. This stop included some jogging and wrestling. When we arrived at our destination, we immediately went on a brisk 20 minute hike. The dogs were then tied at the campsite where they could see and sniff while camp was set-up. The day included one last 60 minute evening hike.
If your dog likes to play fetch, always do so on a long line if the leash laws of where you are allow. All of the state parks we visited on our journey required 6-10' leashes. Unleashing a dog while traveling is very dangerous. Remember that traveling can be stressful to dogs. Use extreme caution when asking if your dog can visit another dog or when allowing another dog to visit your dog at rest stops and fit dog stops.
Always check with your veterinarian before traveling with your dog and before beginning or changing your dogs exercise routine.