State Farm® sponsored this post about travel tips and their Assist Patrol Program, but all thoughts are my own.

One of my favorite things about winter is all the holidays and parties with friends and family. And, when you treat your dog like the most important member of your family (ummm… guilty!), then of course you want to take them along to all the celebrations. No matter how far you need to travel, these tips on how to plan a winter road trip with your dog can help.

When you travel with your dog, the safety and wellbeing of both you and your pup is very important, especially in winter when there can be high traffic during holidays and low temperatures!

How to Plan a Winter Road Trip with Your Dog

Ensure your car is ready

Make sure that your car is in good condition to drive by checking your tire pressure and wiper fluid, and make sure you have a full tank of gas before hitting the road. These all sound like no-brainer things, but when you have more than just yourself to worry about, you want to make sure you don’t get stranded and put your dog at risk.

How to Plan a Winter Road Trip with Your Dog

Plan your route

Look at your route in advance to see if there’s a way you can go that includes rest stops. Consider a hiking break if you’re headed through the mountains. Your dog will be so much happier if you can break up a long trip with time outside the car, a quick hike, or at the very least, a few trees to sniff.

Pack snacks, water and important docs for you and your dog

If I’m going to have Lucy in the car for a few hours, I like to bring an entertaining toy that will keep her busy in the back seat for a while. I recommend you ind a durable rubber toy that you can stuff with treats. It will challenge their mind and help the time go by. Also, be sure to pack plenty of bottled water for you both, and a copy of your dog’s most recent vaccinations.

How to Plan a Winter Road Trip with Your Dog

Make sure your dog is secure

This is the most important thing to consider when taking a road trip with your dog. If your dogs are anything like Lucy, then they like to be as close to you as possible, at all times! I know it’s temping, but you should never let your dog ride in the front seat. Not only is it dangerous for them, but it’s not safe to have that kind of distraction when you’re driving. Keep your dog secure in the back seat, or the cargo space in back if you have an SUV.

I actually just talked to my friend about this issue with her new dog who keeps trying to climb up front. There are a lot of products available to help you keep your dog safely in place, such as hammocks that span the back seat, mesh or wire dividers you can attach to your headrests, and leashes that plug into the seat belt.

How to Plan a Winter Road Trip with Your Dog

Ask for help when you need it

If you’re driving on the highway to make it home for the holidays, don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it! Even though you might feel prepared after reading all of my tips, weather and car troubles can be unpredictable. I was excited to learn about the State Farm sponsored Assist Patrol Program that has teamed up with state transportation agencies in 15 states to help out along the road.

These sponsored vehicles are constantly driving around looking for crashes, dangerous debris and stranded motorists. If you run into any trouble, don’t be afraid to ask for help, because State Farm is #HereToHelp! These patrols can change a tire and fix minor mechanical problems, all free of charge. Learn more about the program and check to see if it’s available in your state. We’re lucky enough to have the patrol in Pennsylvania, so if you’re traveling through my home state keep any eye out for them!

How to Plan a Winter Road Trip with Your Dog

State Farm sponsored this post about safe driving but all thoughts are my own.

How to Plan a Winter Road Trip with Your Dog