15 Essential Road Trip Tips That Will Give Your Dog The Adventure Of A Lifetime

Written by: Christen Groves

July 29, 2015

Nothing like traveling with your tail-wagger to make a road-trip all the more fun, but it also requires some extra planning. Give yourself plenty of time to plan ahead, and consider the following advice before traveling the open road with your furry best friend.

1. Checkout websites like Bring Fido or

Get started by making sure you plan to visit dog friendly locations. Both websites are great tools for finding dog friendly hotels, restaurants, stores, and rest-stops.


2. Don’t forget to pack the essentials

  • Water Bowl
  • Your dogs regular food
  • Medications
  • Poop Bags
  • Updated tags, a collar, and a leash
  • Medical records and vaccination certificates (especially rabies)
  • Grooming supplies and a towel
  • A kennel
  • Dog bed and/or blankets
  • Favorite toys


3. Don’t let your dog roam the vehicle

Keep your dog restrained with a pet seat-belt, or in a kennel, while the car is in motion. Remember, this isn’t just for your dogs safety, but for the safety of everyone inside the vehicle. According to Consumer Reports, a 60 lb dog traveling at 35 mph can turn into a 2,700 lb projectile in an accident.


4. Bring a recent photo of your dog

A recent picture of your dog will be helpful if your dog suddenly goes missing.


5. Don’t feed your dog right before a long drive

For road-trips that cut into meal time, try and feed your dog a light meal 3-4 hours prior to departure.


6. Buy or make a dog first-aid kit

Keep a doggie first aid kit in your vehicle. Want to make your own? Follow this tutorial from Martha Stewart Pets!

pet first aid kit

7. Make sure your dog is microchipped before you leave town

A microchip provides an extra level of security, especially if your dog’s collar slips off.


8. Play white noise at night

If you are staying in a hotel and your dog alerts to noises at night, you may be asked to leave. There are many white noise apps available for smartphones that will limit the amount of outside noise your dog hears at night.


9. Stay organized with a doggie car organizer 

Convert a toiletry bag into an over the seat car organizer and keep all your dog’s stuff in one place. It will make your life easier and help speed up rest stops.


10. Keep heads and paws in the vehicle

By letting your dog stick his head out the window, you run the risk of your dog jumping out of the vehicle. Additionally, high speed winds can be harmful to your dogs eyes and ears.  Only have the windows unrolled if your dog is in a kennel, or restrained by a pet seat-belt.


11. Take a few short test drives before the trip

See how your dog reacts to riding in the car with a couple short drives before the trip. If you pet is fearful of riding in the car, the ASPCA provides some great advice, here.


12. Teach your dog to eliminate on cue

Teaching your dog a command like “go now” will speed up potty breaks and help your dog go to the bathroom in new, unfamiliar places. The ASPCA provides step by step instructions on how to do this, here.


13. Provide your dog with something to do in the car

Prevent excited, unruly behavior in the car by providing your dog with a stuffed Kong or food puzzle during the drive.


14. Download a dog first-aid app

If you have a smartphone, download the American Red Cross Pet First Aid App before your trip. It provides some great advice, and is free in the app store.


15. Be aware of nearby vet clinics

Have the contact information for nearby vet clinics saved to your phone and know where the closest emergency vet clinics are for any after-hour emergency situations.


Sources: ASPCA

Featured image via @izzy_the_chow

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Written by: Christen Groves

July 29, 2015

Nutritionist-crafted food for your dog's breed or mix.

Recipes designed for dogs' individuality



A themed collection of BARK-designed toys, treats, and chews.


A themed collection of BARK-designed toys, treats, and chews.