Dog Travel Guide: 8 Tips To a Better Road Trip

Taking a road trip is a great way to holiday and spend quality time with the family. So why leave your dog behind when you take that next trip away. Here is a list of tips and tricks to make road­tripping with your dog more enjoyable for everyone.


Whether you are looking for cabins or campgrounds, using websites like Tripadvisor or Pet­Friendly Travel can help you find suitable places to visit. Look for the location of dog­friendly beaches and forests and access to national Parks and recreation areas.

2. Prepare
Before you take off, check your dog’s tolerance to car travel. Some dogs adapt well and after the initial excitement, often fall asleep. Unfortunately, dog’s can get motion sickness . If your dog suffers with car sickness, start with short trips to build up your dog’s tolerance. You could also speak to your veterinarian for advice on anti­nausea medication

3. Safety
Safety is the most important thing to consider for your dog. The safest place for your dog to travel is in the back seat, with a harness restraint and clipped into the seat belt. A harness rather than a collar will prevent serious neck injuries if you have a car accident. Some people prefer to use a crate but ensure this is secured to prevent it tipping over.

4. Packing
Put together a travel bag for your dog. A small travel bag , preferably with a velcro seal or zip to prevent everything from falling out or to prevent your dog getting in. Here is a list of some essential items to pack:

● Food and Water containers ­ I use lightweight clip sealed plastic containers. Very quick and easy to put out during rest stops and being resealable, saves wasting precious water. I put the lid on the food bowl at night to keep little critters out. Collapsible bowls are also great and better for space saving.

● Snap lock bags ­ The world’s best invention. If we are going away for short trips, I pre­ measure the food into single day portions. This will save space and eliminate the need for measure cups or big bulky bags of food.

● Water ­ You can never have too much. Refill old juice bottles or water cans to keep you and your dog hydrated.

● Doggy poo bags ­ Essential to pick up after your dog along the way. Most parking areas have bins to throw these away but if not, take some extra thick plastic bags. Dog Poo STINKS!

● Toys ­ Who doesn’t need their favourite toy on a long road trip. If your dog gets irritable or bored in the car, take a toy with that will keep him occupied.

● Dog bed ­ Place the dog bed on the back set to make a safe and comfortable place for your dog to settle. May encourage him to have a nap on the way too.

● Towels ­ Road trips are fun and if you come across a nice place, let your dog out for a play. You will appreciate the towels to dry off before getting back in the car.

● Treats ­ Reward your dog for being a great travelling companion or use the treats to reassure your dog in any unfamiliar areas.

5. Identifications
I highly recommend microchipping your dog as it is a permanent Identification. Have an extra dog ID tag with an alternate phone number in case your dog gets lost and you are out of phone range. A photo of your dog will help a search party.

6. Vet records
Take a copy of your vaccinations. If you decide to use a doggy day­care or pet minding service, they may ask for vaccination records. Take along your dog’s medications as you may not be able to get them on the road.

7. On the road
Once you are on the road, plan to stop every 2 ­ 3 hours. Give your dog a chance to stretch his legs, have a toilet break, a treat and a drink of water. Before getting your dog out of the car, have the leash attached as dogs can bolt and may run in front of traffic.

8. Weather
Be mindful of the outside temperature. Dog are very sensitive to hot temperature. Travel with the air conditioner on, put the windows down to let the breeze in and park in the shade when you stop. Don’t leave you dog in the car! This is very dangerous and your dog can die from heat stroke very quickly. Consider a sunshade on the back window if you travel on hot days. If you are going to the snow, consider a warm jacket and even some doggy boots.

No need to leave your dog home when you go on your next holiday. A little planning and preparing will ensure that the whole family has a safe and enjoyable holiday.

Dee Bryant from aims to help you have the best life possible with your canine friend.
Dogs are kind of like kids (albeit, furrier), and they require nurturing and care.
Dee and her dog, Tiger, live in Australia and have traveled extensively across the country and even overseas.
For more stories and advice visit Dee and Tiger at our blog: or on facebook.

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About Marina Kuperman Villatoro

Marina Kuperman Villatoro CEO of, a travel resource site to inspire families to travel with kids of all ages. Marina has been an expat 10+ years in Central America raising 2 boys in a multicultural, trilingual household. She travels all over the world with her family to give first hand experiences of where to eat, stay and play with kids. Needless to say, it’s never boring! Join Marina on Facebook and Twitter for more unique and boutique family travel!

3 Responses to Dog Travel Guide: 8 Tips To a Better Road Trip

  1. Kieran says:

    You’d be surprised at the number of people who leave their dogs in the car on hot days!
    Kieran recently posted..Home Remedies for Ear Infections in DogsMy Profile

  2. Danny says:

    I think it’s disgusting that pet owners can leave their pets in cars. Are they just thick or do they not care?

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