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If your pets are anything like my dogs, they get very excited when they get to go for a ride. I open up the car door and they jump right in without any prompting, tails wagging happily and smiles on their faces. But if we're headed out for a trip that's going to last longer than an hour, I inevitably get the Are we there yet whines and whimpers and panting. I realized early on that I needed to find something to keep them more comfortable and occupied when we're ramming the roads.
So if the story of my dogs is familiar to you or if your pets aren't road warriors right from the get-go, here are some great toys to bring along with you on your next car ride to keep the boredom at bay:
Chew Bones: If your dogs gravitate toward chew bones at home, bringing a few with you on your trip will provide them with a sense of comfort (as well as give them something to do). There are a ton of great bones out there to pick from, especially from Nylabone. Some are strictly for play and others are edible. If your dog doesn't get carsick, an edible bone that he has to work on for awhile may be a nice distraction (for you) and a yummy treat (for him).
Ropes: Got more than one furbaby? Something that the two of them can play with together (depending on whether they're in a carrier or in a restraint) are some rope toys. Rope toys are way better than just boring old rope. You can get them in the shape of animals, you can get them with dental chews on both ends, and you can even get rope rings! Nothing passes the time on a road trip like some tug-of-war.
Kongs: Kongs have been around for awhile but they've really grown in popularity and are the hot toys on the blockâ€ - they're a huge hit among the four-legged crowd (dogs and cats, too!). There are dozens of different types of Kongs but the Classic Kong will really do the trick in the car. Dogs love the chewable red exterior and the added bonus is the middle where you can stash some tasty treats. What dog doesn't want a chew toy that also dispenses food? And here's a pro tip: put all-natural peanut butter in the middle of the Kong and freeze it until you're ready to leave. This will provide hours of enjoyment in the car as she works on her frozen Kong.
Cat Toys: We've been giving a lot of love to our canine friends, but what about our dear felines? Although cats are a bit more restricted from moving around while being in a carrier (versus buckled into seat restraints without the need of a carrier like some dogs), they can still play with some fun toys in there. There are plenty of funky cat ball toys to bat around, and they can come filled with catnip. Some cats might like their toys in the shape of a mouse. Others might just like the comfort of a plush toy. Toys like this can provide something that cats can divert their attention to during the long drive and calm them down if they tend to get stressed out.
Most of us enjoy a good road trip every now and again and it's even more fun when you bring your pets. But it's important to make sure that they're having as good of a time as we are. Bringing along a few toys to keep them occupied and help them feel less anxiety-ridden will help pass the time. You never know â€“ a pet that doesn't normally like car rides might be more inclined to jump in that car at the site of a treat to play with. It works for my dogs!