How to Road Trip with Your Dog

I love my dogs. I love road trips. My dogs + road trips = happiest girl in the world.

But it’s not like I can throw my dogs into an over the shoulder bag and roam the countryside. I’ve got two 70 pound balls of pure fluff. Some would think it’s not the easiest to road trip with my crazy mutts but with a little preparation, road tripping with my (your) dog/s (of any size) is a breeze.

How to Road Trip with Your Dog // The Wellness Doer

I’ve had my dogs sense they were teeny tiny pups and they have been driving around in my car for about the length of time they have been alive. That fact alone makes it’s easy to pack up the car with their fuzzy faces and take them anywhere.  Regardless if your dog is familiar with the car or not, I’ve got some tips on how to make road tripping with your furry friend easy, safe and fun for the both of you.

How to Road Trip with Your Dog // The Wellness Doer

Dog Meet Car
Car meet dog. First thing first. Your dogs has to be comfortable in the car. If your dog has not been exposed to car, now is the time. Start slow with just a drive around the block, increasing the millage as you notice your dog getting more and more at ease. Make it fun and exciting. If you are excited most likely your dog will be too. how to road trip with your dog

Plan Your Trip with Your Dog in Mind
Whenever I’m craving a road trip I usually don’t have a designation in mind. Naturally the first thought that comes to my mind then is where can I go that I can bring the dogs? Camping and outdoor adventures tend to be the easiest to do with your mutt. Research what is around you. Do you want to camp? Search for camping spots that allow pets. Are you a hotel camper? Search on for hotels that allow dogs. Also you should know that you can have dogs at most National Parks but you can’t hike with them and most state beaches don’t allow dogs, but some do, that’s why it’s good to research first.

How to Road Trip with Your Dog // The Wellness Doer How to Road Trip with Your Dog // The Wellness Doer

Safety First
Once you have an idea of where you are going it is of the upmost importance to make sure your dog is safe. If you are camping (and will be spending a lot of time in nature) especially check for rattle snake warnings, bears and ticks. How hot or cold will it be? My dogs love to get in the water so I always make sure to ask my vet what (if any) shots are needed to keep the safe and healthy. It’s smart to at least have some idea of what your getting yourself into (or your dogs for that matter).

Pack the Essentials
Food: Plan out the amount of food you will need for the days you will be gone, plus a couple extra just in case.
Food bowls: You don’t want them eating off the ground do you?
Water bowl: I like to use a collapsable bowl. It’s easier to travel with.
Bedding: I always like to bring extra blankets. One time when I camped with my dogs it was much colder at night than expected. Temperatures ended up being freezing and I am so thankful I had extra blankets for the dogs. Also when we are somewhere where there it’s a dirt ground, it’s nice to have something for them to lay on. how to road trip with your dog
First Aid Kit: Talk to your vet about what is important to pack in a kit for your dog (depends on your dog).
Tick Remover: This is a must if you will spending time exploring the outdoors. It’s a tiny tool that helps to remove ticks (also can be used on humans).
Toys: Balls, water toys or anything that your dog is familiar and loves to play with.
Water: I always have a gallon jug of water in my car at all times for the dogs. Dogs need a lot of water, especially if they are made up of 90% fluff like mine. On a side note, if you hike with your pup PLEASE bring water for them. It is sad to see people hiking with their dogs and not caring any water.

How to Road Trip with Your Dog // The Wellness Doer How to Road Trip with Your Dog // The Wellness Doer

My Golden Rule
Take them until someone say you can’t have them. This was the rule a friend of mine and myself created when we took a road trip up the California coast a couple years ago. We stopped in Hollywood, Santa Monica Pier, Venice Beach, Santa Barbara, San Francisco, Santa Cruz and everything in between. We took the dogs with us until someone said we couldn’t have them there. You’d be surprised where you can take your dog.

How to Road Trip with Your Dog // The Wellness Doer How to Road Trip with Your Dog // The Wellness Doer How to Road Trip with Your Dog // The Wellness Doer

Things to Remember
Where there may be things that you can do with your dog you will find that there are things where your dog is not allowed. In this case you will have to leave them in the car. Whenever this is the case for me, I leave a bowl of water in the vehicle with them, crack the windows quite a bit, and put the sun shade thingy up. I also plan to only be gone for a short time. And in some cases (especially if the weather is too hot to leave your dog in the car) you have to skip out on something. But it’s ok… it’s more important to keep your dog safe. In the end it is always rewarding having your dog as a traveling companion. how to road trip with your dog

I have found so much joy in road tripping with my dogs and I can only wish that you do as well. The best thing is to make sure that you and your dog/s have fun. My biggest joy is watching my dogs stick their heads out the car window with big’ol smiles on their faces. That alone, makes all the planning so worth it. Check out my road trip essentials for more tips on road tripping.

Do you travel with your furry friend? Have any tips that I missed? Leave a comment and let me know how you road trip with your pup! Happy travels!

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