7 Travel Tips for Road Trips with Dogs

7 Travel Tips for Road Trips with Dogs

As somebody who travels usually, the toughest half is all the time saying goodbye to my critters at house as a result of they’ll’t often go along with me. That’s notably true for my pal Puggsley (Puggs), the separation anxiety-riddled Puggle.

Luckily this little pup loves automotive rides. So, once I get an opportunity, I take him with me!

There is nothing like a visit along with your canine to bond you collectively. Seeing new issues, smelling new smells, and tasting new snacks are all the time higher along with your favourite pup.

Road journeys enable your canine to expertise part of your life they won’t in any other case get. Especially for nervous doggies like Puggs, it helps alleviate the nervousness of seeing my suitcase.

A visit along with your canine takes extra planning than a solo trip or a trip with your friend or a companion would possibly. Parents will shudder, however it’s like planning to convey a toddler someplace new.

You want a number of toys, snacks, and typically some garments to ensure your finest buddy has a enjoyable time. Having some automotive security gear and a gate or crate could be finest.

Not to fret, these adventures don’t have to be intimidating. Puggs and I’ve created these canine highway journey ideas from our experiences. They’re tried and examined for higher or worse, and we’re right here to make your subsequent journey along with your canine as joyful as potential.

Also, a fast be aware; in case you plan on renting a automotive, learn the advantageous print. Even if a automotive rental web site says animals are allowed with out charges or fines, the ability would possibly attempt to stick you with an exorbitant cleansing price.

Do your self a favor and browse the advantageous print. And cease by a fuel station to hoover the rental automotive, even when the contract doesn’t dictate a cleansing price!

Puggsley in a car wearing my sunglasses

Amanda Finn / By way ofTravelers

Tips for a highway journey along with your canine

1. Provide Mental Stimulation

Puggsley at hotel playing with red ball
Amanda Finn / By way ofTravelers

A highway journey is usually a lot, even for canine who love automotive rides. Puggs is all about vehicles, however he’s performed sitting within the automotive by day two of a protracted highway journey. Providing stimulation safely throughout journey may be troublesome, so make certain there may be a lot of playtime and exercise off the highway.

One manner you may assist your canine’s psychological well being through the drive is with a frozen lick mat. These rubber mats may be coated in moist meals, dog-safe peanut butter/yogurt, or packaged paste and frozen.

Licking the tasty meals off the mat stimulates your pup with out a lot motion. So they’re secure of their seat or part of the automotive.

There are loads of actions to do along with your canine to maintain them stimulated whenever you’re not on the highway. Puggs loves his treat dispenser ball, which we use as an alternative of a meal dish throughout journey.

It makes him chase the ball across the room to get his meals to assist make him sleepy for the drive. Just hold it away from areas the place it could possibly get caught. It’s not enjoyable to maneuver furnishings when this ball will get caught beneath a lodge headboard.

Other stimulating instruments and actions:

See Related: Best Pet Travel Insurance Options to Buy Today

2. Research Dog-friendly Hotels

Puggsley rolling on a bed at the Royal Sonesta Chicago
Amanda Finn / By way ofTravelers

Believe it or not, accommodations have gotten increasingly dog-friendly. Often, dog-friendly rooms are situated on the primary or a low flooring to make lavatory breaks simpler.

But don’t suppose that dog-friendly tag doesn’t come at a worth. Some accommodations have a flat price per pet or keep, whereas others cost day by day. Keep that in thoughts whereas researching accommodations.

If you intend on doing any actions away from the lodge, you should convey a collapsible crate. Hotels will usually not permit you to go away your canine unattended within the room until they’re crated.

Puggs hates the field, so to make it much less traumatic, we all the time pack his calm-down treats, hold the television on, and provides him a stuffed animal. If you need to be, you would additionally go away a worn shirt of yours within the crate too. This helps Puggs hold quiet within the room whereas he’s alone.

Whether it’s your remaining vacation spot or a cease alongside the highway, you’ll in all probability want a lodge in some unspecified time in the future – until you’re tenting. Puggs and I desire an enormous, cozy lodge mattress to camp. You can’t blame him, and lodge staff usually deal with my four-legged pal like a king.

As a Midwesterner, I acknowledge that our part of the nation accommodates quite a lot of flyover country. That mentioned, listed here are a few of my favourite spots which have offered me and Puggs with room and board:

If you’re in the midst of planning your journey, you may seek for dog-friendly Marriott hotels and discover the perfect locations to stick with canine throughout the nation.

See Related: Tips for Traveling with Pets to Make Your Trip Easier

3. Take Practice Trips Ahead of Time

Wilco the dog in the car
Kim Magaraci / By way ofTravelers

If you fail to plan, you intend to fail, which is very essential to recollect in case you’re utilizing new security gear. Practicing with a brand new canine sling, seatbelt, or seat is important to make sure your canine’s consolation. Nobody desires to spend lengthy automotive rides in an ill-fitting security gadget, proper?

Help your pup affiliate the automotive with positivity with a lot of favourite treats. These assessments are additionally a superb time to see in case your furry buddy will get automotive sick.

You’ll additionally need to use this time to determine in case your canine can be within the again or passenger seats. If they’re within the passenger seat, guarantee you understand how to show their airbag off on their aspect or if it’s going to flip off mechanically as a consequence of their weight.

See Related: Things to Know About Cat Sedation for Travel

4. Bring the Essentials

Wilco the dog with his luggage
Kim Magaraci / By way ofTravelers

If you’ve ever taken a visit along with your canine, you recognize they’ve obtained their own luggage. Just like in your packing, creating a listing in your furry finest buddy can be a good suggestion.

Making a listing is important for all pets, however extra so for many who require medicines. You don’t need to be in the midst of nowhere whenever you notice you forgot your furry associates’ meds.

Creating a packing record will even cease you from overpacking. Road journeys are tougher to pack for as a result of I’m not as restricted as with air journey. Remember that the heavier your automotive load, the more serious the MPG.

One manner to make sure you convey what you want is to be aware of what you employ for a number of days earlier than packing. This helps get rid of the non-essentials and in addition reminds you what toys or enjoyable issues your canine prefers on the time. Not to fret, we’ll aid you begin a packing record for you, then it’s as much as you to fill in the remainder in your journey buddy.

Here are some highway journey packing record necessities in your canine:

  • Enough meals for the length, plus a day simply in case
  • Crate (folding or stationary)
  • Dog treats
  • Favorite toys
  • Blanket or mat for crate
  • Supplements/nutritional vitamins
  • Portable pet bowls
  • Water bottle for on-the-go hydration
  • Pet-friendly first assist package

See Related: Interesting Dog Laws in Germany to Know

5. Plan Bathroom Breaks

Puggsley by a pet area sign at a rest stop
Amanda Finn / By way ofTravelers

When you’re road-tripping, frequent breaks are essential. When you’re on a visit along with your canine, breaks are very important.

Many canine want breaks each few hours. Even in case your pet can go for prolonged intervals with out going outdoors at house, attempt to cease each two hours to allow them to have a rest room break.

Rest stops are finest for a break, although fuel stations will do in a pinch. Usually, relaxation stops have particular areas for pets to go to, whereas fuel stations could also be fairly barren. Be conscious whenever you go to wherever for doubtlessly demanding conditions in your pet.

When you cease alongside the open highway, make certain your canine has entry to recent water. These breaks are when Puggs’ foldable water bowl is useful. By having an additional bowl with us within the entrance of the automotive, I can hold his different journey bowls collectively in a bag for simple entry as soon as we cease for the day.

See Related: Best Road Trips in the U.S.A

6. Be Prepared for Off-road Health Scares!

Puggsley yawning in the car
Amanda Finn / By way ofTravelers

Something that doesn’t get thought of rather a lot for highway journeys with canine is security off the highway. I’ll admit that this was the very last thing on my thoughts once I struggled to take away ticks off Puggs’ ear after driving 7 hours into Nebraska. Take it from me, and also you don’t need to be ill-prepared – it’s not solely costly, however it can be traumatizing for all events concerned!

Before your grand journey, guarantee your canine is updated with their vaccines, medicines, and flea/tick prevention. Even in case you don’t plan to be off-leash or go to an area canine park, you by no means know when the surprising can occur. Go into the highway journey assuming that you just’ll want to drag a splinter out of your canine’s paws or make your canine really feel higher after a tummy upset.

See Related: Top Scenic Drives: The Best Road Trips in the World

7. Keep Dogs Safe on the Road

Puggsley with his harness, buckle and blanket in the car
Amanda Finn / By way ofTravelers

Before you experience onto the freeway, you must put together your automotive for the longer rides along with your pet. Even in case you’re going to take a rental automotive, plan with security tools in your canine can experience securely. Whether your pet can be within the entrance or again seat, they want some crash-tested security harness.

Some canine desire to be buckled in and snuggled up with their favourite blanket. At the identical time, others would as an alternative be strapped right into a dog-sized car seat. Either manner, the protection gadget will hold them safe through the highway journey.

If a pet is allowed to simply free roam a car, they danger vital bodily hurt or loss of life within the occasion of an accident. When secured, they could nonetheless be injured in a crash, however they are going to be stored in place. Pet automotive security merchandise do for them what conventional seatbelts or toddler automotive seats do for people. Gearing up for this epic highway journey prepares you in your subsequent journey.

Here are some extra automotive objects to contemplate:

See Related: Best Minnesota Road Trips to Take

Best Destinations for Dogs

Eloise in the great outdoors
Kyle Kroeger / By way ofTravelers

It ought to go with out saying, however some locations can be higher than others in your doggo. Here are a number of concepts.

National Parks

This one comes with a caveat – whereas nationwide parks enable canine, lots of them solely enable canine in particular areas of the park. Yellowstone, for instance, solely permits canine in locations the place automobiles can go, which makes it lower than best for a dog-friendly highway journey vacation spot.

If you discover extra dog-friendly parks, although. you and your pup can discover the parks for the day or make one only a cease alongside the highway. There is a lot for the canine to odor that they are going to have a blast sniffing all the brand new areas.

When you cease at a park, guarantee your first assist child is alongside for the stroll or hike. This could also be whenever you or your canine want the package.

Best U.S. National Parks for Dogs

Dog-Friendly Towns

Girl walking with her dog over a bridge in Minneapolis
Bogdan Denysyuk / Adobe Stock

While many cities can be amenable to canine, some are extra accommodating than others. From discovering dog-friendly lodging or public locations, some cities go above and past. Double-check their pet coverage earlier than bringing your canine to a bar or sidewalk cafe.

You may additionally need to put money into a canine backpack or different service to enhance your canine’s mobility wherever your vacation spot could also be. Puggs, for instance, will get drained out after strolling for some time as a result of he has little legs.

He likes his front-facing carrier however hated the backpack. Practice utilizing the carriers along with your canine earlier than your journey to make sure they match accurately and your canine tolerates them.

Some of the perfect dog-friendly cities within the U.S.


Montrose Dog Beach and Lake Michigan with People in Uptown Chicago
James Andrews1 /

Some canine (not mine) love water. They like to gallop throughout the sand, leap into the salty sea, and lounge with their people on the seashore. That mentioned, typically it may be arduous to search out dog-friendly seashores to hold along with your favourite pooch.

You do have to be conscious of water micro organism and the warmth within the sand since canine are vulnerable to heatstroke on the seashore. Even so, you probably have a pupper that loves the salt life, hold a few of these beloved doggie-friendly seashores in thoughts in your subsequent highway journey.

Some of the perfect dog-friendly seashores:

  • Carmel Beach: Carmel-by-the-Sea, California
  • Wildwood Dog Beach: Wildwood, New Jersey
  • Jupiter Dog Beach: Jupiter, Florida
  • Emerald Isle: Emerald Isle, North Carolina
  • Block Island: Block Island, Rhode Island
  • Kiptopeke State Park: Cape Charles, Virginia
  • Montrose Dog Beach: Chicago, Illinois

See Related: Rental Cars That You Can Take Out of State


What do I must pack for a highway journey with my canine?

You’ll need to pack something your canine wants day by day. We created a fundamental record above.

However, one strategy to decide your want is to notice what you employ day by day. Generally, you’ll want treats, meals, toys, a crate, and car-safety merchandise for road-tripping with canine.

Are there particular security measures I ought to take when touring with my canine?

Above all, your canine wants harnesses or buckles in your automotive. These will hold them in place simply in case of an accident or arduous braking. You additionally ought to guarantee your canine has all of their vaccines, flea and tick safety, and medicine earlier than heading out on a visit collectively.

What form of car is finest for highway journeys with canine?

The form of car isn’t that necessary. Unless you journey with many individuals and the canine, you and your pet may be completely comfy even in a compact automotive. My automotive is a Yaris (suppose Volkswagon Beatle dimension), and my canine loves it as a lot as a rental SUV.

How can I hold my canine comfy throughout a protracted automotive journey?

Calming aids, favourite blankets, toys, and familiarity with their automotive setup are the keys to your canine’s consolation within the automotive. If they affiliate the automotive with pleasure, it’ll be simpler for them to be within the car for a protracted highway journey. Try working towards longer drives along with your canine earlier than a highway journey to see if they are going to be comfy for lengthy intervals.

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