A Guide for Off-Roading with Your Dog
There are a lot of fun activities you can enjoy with your dog—especially outside. Something most dogs universally love is getting out of the house and going for a ride in the car. To go one step further, many Jeep Wrangler owners will take their dogs with them on an off-roading adventure. Before you hit the trails with your dog, there are a few things you will need to do beforehand. You can find a guide for off-roading with your dog, below.
See If Dogs Are Allowed Ahead of Time
Before you go on your off-roading adventure with your four-legged friend, you need to do some preparation. Check to see if the off-roading trails you plan to traverse even allow dogs because there are some that don’t. Even if they do allow dogs, there may be some rules you might have to follow, such as keeping them on a leash. Be aware of any off-roading trail rules that may involve your dog prior to going.
Find a Safe Space for Them
It's also important to plan on where your dog will be stationed when you are off-roading. It is illegal in many states to have a dog sit in the front seat, so you might have to make some room in the back. Whether it’s in the backseat or the trunk, make sure there is enough room for them to be comfortable for the duration of the trip.
Make Sure Your Dog is Secured
Additionally, the most important thing is to ensure that your dog is secured properly. There are several options you can choose from, so it really depends on preference. Some options you can choose include a harness, barriers, tethers, or a crate. There are inherent dangers with off-roading already, but you need to take extra preparation with your dog and get the necessary protection to keep them safe. Off-roading should be a fun experience, not a fatal one. Always take matters in your own hands by having your furry friend secured in your Jeep Wrangler.
Bring Plenty of Food and Water
Off-roading can be an all-day event, so make sure you also pack all the dog essentials you will need. This starts with bringing plenty of food, water, and some treats with you. Even if you think you may be back home in time, you never know what may happen out there on the trails. Above all else, it’s important for your dog to remain hydrated. Also, be sure you keep this inside a compartment in your Jeep, so your dog doesn’t keep trying to get into it while you are on the trails.
Another essential dog item you should bring with are bags. You never know when your dog may need to go, so get on top of it by having bags handy and don’t rely on a park to have them for you. Many parks will also have this as a rule for bringing your dog along for the ride. It’s also not a bad idea to bring paper towels with you either, so you can wipe down your dog.
Don’t Forget a Leash
There’s one more item that we previously mentioned that you can’t forget—a leash! Even if you don’t need a leash for a harness, it’s still important that you bring a leash regardless. For instance, if you do come across an issue, a leash will help you watch your dog. Not to mention, many parks will require you to have a leash on your dog at all times.
Keep an Eye on Them
Speaking of keeping your dog close by, you need to make it a habit to watch your dog and make sure nothing happens to them. You can do this by occasionally looking back and glancing at your mirrors—which is something you should be doing anyway. If you don’t feel comfortable going by yourself, bring a partner so you can have someone keep a better eye on your pet. It’s important that you don’t get carried away while you are on the trails. Always think of your dog first.
Have a First Aid Kit Handy
Another way to ensure your dog’s safety while off-roading is to have a first aid kit readily available. There are several that you can find online with all the supplies that you should have around, just in case. Make sure the first aid kit is easily accessible in your Jeep as well.
Make Sure Your Car is Clean
While your Jeep Wrangler will most likely get dirty throughout the off-roading adventure, it’s still important that you clean the vehicle’s interior. This is because you don’t want your dog getting into something they shouldn’t.
Give Your Dog Some Shade
Many Jeep owners prefer going off-roading with the top down, so they can get fresh air as they go through a trail—but this might not be the best thing for your dog. Instead of going with no top for your Jeep, consider a bikini or mesh top. This way, you can still get some airflow in your Jeep, but your dog will also have some shade from the sun.
Go Easy at First
A final thing you should remember before you go off-roading with your dog is to take it easy first. You don’t know how your dog is going to take the obstacles you might come across. There’s a chance your dog could suffer from motion sickness or otherwise get nervous in your Jeep, causing a mess. To avoid this, take it slow and start out with easy trails at first.
Off-roading is known to be dangerous, so it’s important to take the necessary precautions, especially when you are with your dog. As long as you follow a guide for off-roading with your dog, you should put yourself in a good position to remain safe out in the trials. Another way to remain safe is to upgrade your Jeep Wrangler so it can handle the off-roading trails. At AM Off-Road, you can find everything from Jeep Wrangler light covers to mud flaps. All this and more can ensure that you have a safe off-roading adventure with your dog.