How to Road Trip With Your Dog

Whether you’re going around the block or across state lines for the holidays this year, you may be bringing your dog with you. If you do decide that Fido should be shotgun on your next road trip, here are a few things that you’ll need to know before you hit the open road.

road trip with dog tips

Know the Law. You can’t drive with a dog in your lap if you’re in Hawaii. In most states, it’s a distracted driver violation if your pet causes a wreck. Each state has different laws when it comes to transporting pets so consider brushing up on the “do’s and don’ts” before taking a trip.

Visit the Vet. Before you start on your drive, schedule a time to see your vet. Your vet will determine if your pet is healthy enough for traveling, and can offer tips or prescriptions if you are concerned about your dog getting anxious on the trip. Consider bringing a copy of your dog’s medical and shot records with you in case they are ever requested.

A Pet-Friendly Welcome. You want your pet to be comfortable and welcome. That’s why it’s important to make sure that you book a pet-friendly hotel, campground, vacation rental, etc. Some spots even have restrictions on dog breeds, so it’s important to know before you go.

Belgian Shepherd Malinois puppy road trip with dog tips

Crate Expectations. It may surprise you, but the best way to transport a dog in your car is in a safety-certified, crash-tested crate. You’ll want to choose a crate that has good air circulation and comes with a warranty. If you’re unsure of what type of crate to buy, check out this pet travel crate survey by the Center for Pet Safety and Subaru of America.

Pack a Doggy Bag. You don’t want to leave home without the essentials, and that includes bringing along your dog’s necessary items. The most important item to bring is water and a water bowl to prevent against dehydration. Other items to consider bringing:

  • Food and food bowl
  • Leash and collar
  • Medications
  • Blanket or dog bed
  • Favorite toys
  • Poop bags
  • Grooming supplies

Any trip is going to be better if you bring along your beloved pets. Make sure that both you and they have a great trip by following these five tips.

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