How to Have the Best Road Trips With Your Dog – 5 Tips You Need To Know

This is a guest post by Jordan, the creator behind Natural Dog Owner

best road trips with your dog

Earlier this year, I found myself on a road trip across the country with my Goldendoodle, Carl. I had a blast, but many parts of my trip were very stressful. Needless to say, I learned a lot along the way. I’d never taken my dog on an extended trip before, so please use my tips and experiences to help make your next road trip a success and have the best road trips with your dog!

1. Research Your Pet Friendly Locations

The first item on your list should be pet-friendly hotels. I found that the three hotels I booked had different levels of “pet-friendliness”. The first night of my trip I stayed at a hotel near Mount Rushmore. It was the best! I was greeted by friendly staff, Carl got an upscale goodie bag, and there was a trail that we could walk.

The next night wasn’t as successful in my hotel at Mall of America.  I was disappointed and Carl got a sub-par goodie bag. Carl was also car sick from the ride, and we were forced to use elevators to get to the dog area. He was nervous, had never used elevators, and it was a learning experience for us both.

Restaurants should be the second thing on your list. Unless you want to eat in your car, you’ll need to find pet-friendly restaurants. Call these restaurants before you decide to stop by.  Some are listed as pet-friendly, but pets are only allowed on outdoor patios.

So before you take your dog on a road trip make sure you…

  • Call ahead instead of just booking a reservation online. See if you have to use elevators, and ask if you can get a room on the ground floor.
  • Ask about dog amenities.
  • Look at reviews of hotels on Pet-Friendly websites, like BringFido. You can also check for restaurants, stores, and other pet-friendly attractions on this website!

2. Pack Everything Your Pup Needs

I felt like I overpacked, but Carl needed everything I brought with me. Making sure that your pet has everything they need will help make them more comfortable in new areas. I packed:

  • A specific travel bag for Carl
  • His Crate
  • Water and Food Bowls
  • Toys
  • Elk Antler (Carl’s favorite toy)
  • His Bed
  • Puppy Pads
  • A Jacket (for bad weather)
  • Cleaning Supplies

best road trips with your dog

Your hotel might require that you crate your dog when you’re not in the room. Although you can usually leave a note at the front desk to say you have a dog so staff won’t bother you. Remember, many hotels don’t offer housekeeping services to guests with dogs.

3. Make Sure Your Dog is Secured in the Car

This last tip can’t be stressed enough, your pet needs to be secure. Here are some of the best center-console car seats for your dog. If your pet is loose in your car, they can get hurt or cause you to have an accident.

They work by giving your canine a space to sit or lay, and the ability to attach the dog’s harness to the car seat. There’s plenty of other ways to keep your dog safe, but this is one of the best ways I’ve found.

4. Travel at Your Pet’s Pace

Just like people, dogs can get car sick too. So, make sure to do wellness checks while you are on the road. I also recommend feeding your pup a few hours before you get on the road, to reduce their chances of getting sick. Also, take breaks at rest stops, so that your dog can get water and go to the bathroom.

Carl was a little anxious on our first day, so we had to make some extra stops. If you’re travelling for an extended period of time, you might have to stay an extra night at a hotel if your dog isn’t feeling well.

I also had an issue with Carl being anxious at a rest stop. I stopped to give him his dinner, and I figured I would wait outside the car with him while he ate. The location was right off the highway, so Carl wanted to get back in the car as quickly as possible. He had to eat, so I ended up feeding him inside the car. You have to adapt to your surroundings when you’re traveling with your animal.

best road trips with your dog

5. Utilize Truck Stops and Rest Areas

Whenever you travel with your dog you can’t just leave them in the car. What do you do when you need to go to the bathroom? Nowadays many truck drivers travel on the road with their dogs. So, if you stop at a truck stop, attendants typically don’t care if you bring your dog inside.

You can also stop at rest stops or even pet stores along the way. Here’s a great resource that shows all the rest stops along highways and interstates in the USA. Remember, cars get hot very quickly, and you should never leave your pup unattended.

I hope that these tips help you when you’re out on the road with your dog. With a little bit of planning any trip with your dog is possible! May you have the best road trips with your dog. Enjoy!

This has been a guest post by Jordan, the creator behind Natural Dog Owner, a website dedicated to eliminating the headache that comes with developing a healthy and loving relationship between you and your dog. His main goal is to help give your four-legged family member the best quality of life imaginable.

So now you know how to take a dog on a road trip but what if you need to take your cat? Here’s another story we did about about a road trip with a cat that hates cars, along with a road trip health and beauty tip for you.

This post contains some affiliate links, so if you click on a link and book something I will get a little something to help pay those blogging bills, but don’t worry, it’s no extra cost to you.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

About the Author

Leave a Comment