20 Road Trip Tips for Traveling with Your Dog

If you have a dog and like to travel, there’s a good chance that you have a road trip planned. Below are 20 tips that you can use to help the trip be fun for you and your dog.

Go on Shorter Trips First

Before you go cross country with your pooch, you want to make sure that you are easing them into riding in the car. You can go to places like:

  • a friend’s house
  • a pet store
  • the park

it’s also a good idea to do something that will wear them out so they’ll sleep in the car.

Safety First! Get a CarLeash!

Okay so we're a little bias here obviously.  But it's important to keep your pets safe in the car while traveling.  Distracted driving is a killer!  And remember to always attach the CarLeash to a harness (even if it isn't ours!)  Get 10% off the CarLeash with code "blog10" using the link HERE

Remember Extra Food for your Dog

Make sure that you are always keeping enough dog food and treats when you are traveling. There’s a good chance that your dog’s food will be available somewhere on the road. But if they are extra finicky or they have prescription food, it may not be.

Bring Lots of Water

It’s important that you bring a lot of water for your dog. Anytime you stop, see if your dog is thirsty. Always offer them a drink and let them go potty after.  If you need an easy way to get your dog water - check out our no leak pet water bottle HERE

Bring Bones and Toys

For the longer road trips, it’s a good idea to bring some things for your dog to chew on during the trip. Your dog is like your child. They are going to be bored in the car. A couple of their favorite toys or some bones will keep them happy.

Stop Frequently for Breaks

When you are traveling a long distance, you want to stop regularly so your dog can relieve itself. This is particularly true if you have a puppy. A puppy can hold their urine for roughly an hour per month of age. So, if you have a puppy who is 2 months old, stop at least every 2 hours. If your dog is an adult, stop at least every 3 to 4 hours for exercise and pee breaks.

Check to See if the Ground is Hot

If you’re traveling during the summer, don’t let your dog out before you’ve felt the ground. The last thing you want is for your dog’s paws to get burnt. If it feels very hot, then you want to look for a shady spot. Dog booties are also a good option to protect their paws from rocky or hot surfaces.

Use Seat Covers

One thing that you know is that your dog can shed.  Even if they don’t shed, they can get dirty, drool and they can get wet. So putting seat covers in your car will protect the seats from getting dirty, wet, or even from your dog’s nails. We have two versions for the the single seat HERE and also one for the entire backseat HERE

Bring Their Vet Papers

If you are traveling out of the country, it’s important to have your vet papers with you to show your dog is up to date on their shots.

Get Vaccinations Updated

Speaking of vaccinations, before you go anywhere, make sure that your pup is updated on their shots.

This is particularly important for:

  • Canine hepatitis
  • Distemper
  • Parvovirus
  • Rabies

Also, make sure that you have all their medications with you.

Work on Several Simple Commands

When your dog is well-trained, it will make road trips a lot easier. So train them with a few simple commands, such as stay and sit. Use positive reinforcement and food to help them understand and obey you.

Harnesses are Handy

One of the best things about a harness is that unlike a collar and leash, you don’t have to worry about the harness putting a strain on your dog’s neck if they pull. They come in many different sizes, so it’s easy to find one that is right for your dog.  You can view our harnesses HERE

Bring Lots of Poop Bags

Picking up your dog’s poop is always important. But it’s especially important when you’re not at home and your dog’s pooping somewhere other than your yard. Therefore, you want to make sure that you bring lots of poop bags. There are even biodegradable ones that you can use to help the environment.

Pet Proof the Vehicle

Before you start your trip, look in your vehicle and make sure there isn’t anything in there that could harm your dog. Below are some of the most important things to look for:

  • Alcohol
  • Batteries
  • Chocolate
  • Coffee
  • Garlic
  • Grapes
  • Medications
  • Onions
  • Raisins

You also want to look for tiny items that could become stuck in their throat.

Pack Comfort Items

Some dogs might get anxious. So you want to pack a few familiar and comfortable items such as a favorite toy or blanket.

Never Leave Them Alone in Your Car

The majority of people know that it can be dangerous (and also illegal in most states) to leave your dog by itself in a really cold or hot car.  Don't do it!

Avoid State & National Parks

These parks aren’t very dog-friendly. Usually, you can’t bring dogs on the dirt trails and you can only go on campgrounds and paved roads. National forests are some of the best places to go when you have a dog with you.

Stay at Hotels that are Dog Friendly

If you are going on a long trip, you want to be sure where you’re staying is dog friendly just in case. Some of the hotels that are pet-friendly are:

  • Airbnb’s
  • Best Western
  • Hilton Inn
  • Motel 6
  • La Quinta

Snap a photo of your pet

If the unthinkable happens - you'll have it handy!

Bring First Aid Supplies

When you are traveling, you never know what could happen. So you want to make sure that you have first aid supplies not just for yourself and your family, but for your dog as well. Something that can stop bleeding such as Kwik-Stop and bandages is a good place to start, just in case your dog gets injured.


These are 20 tips that you can use to help your dog have a good time on your road trip and stay safe. Hope you have a good time and that you found these tips to be helpful. Please keep coming back, because we’ll be adding more helpful blogs soon. If you have any questions about our products, please feel free to get in touch with us and we’ll be glad to answer them.

1 comment

  • Thanks for the information. New fur baby Mom.

    Candita Campbell

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