Pet Keen is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

13 Essentials for a Road Trip with Dogs (2023 Checklist)

Pet Retail Shop

Vet approved

Dr. Lorna Whittemore Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Lorna Whittemore

Vet, MRCVS

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Learn more »

Are you preparing to hit the open road with your furry friend? Road tripping with dogs can be loads of fun for both you and your pup! But before you embark on your journey, there are a few things you’ll need to do to make sure everyone has a good time.

Here are 13 essentials for road tripping with dogs.

divider-dog

The 13 Essentials for Road Trips With Your Dog

1. ID Tag or GPS Tracker

Dog Tag Art Microchip Alert Personalized Dog & Cat ID Tag

On a road trip with your pups, there are a few things you can do to make sure they don’t get lost along the way. Firstly, make sure their ID tag is up to date and clearly visible. Secondly, consider getting them microchipped in case they do manage to escape. ID tags that let people know your pet has been microchipped can be extra helpful.

And finally, there are a variety of GPS tracking devices available that can be attached to their collar, giving you peace of mind (and a way to find them) if they do wander off. A good one to try that has all the piece you need to get started is the Tractive Dog & Cat GPS Tracker.


2. Car Harness or Car Seat

EzyDog Drive Dog Car Harness

As a dog owner, it’s important to be aware of the dangers of driving with your pet. Here are some tips to keep your dogs safe on the road.

For larger dogs, you can use a car harness to secure your dog in its seat. This will prevent them from being thrown around in the event of a sudden stop or accident and stop them from jumping all over the inside of the car as you drive.

Another safety tip is to make sure your dog is comfortable while riding in the car. A car seat is a great option for small to medium-sized dogs. If they’re anxious or restless, they may try to jump out of the window or door. So, it’s important to give them a comfortable space to relax in.

By following these tips, you can help ensure a safe and enjoyable ride for both you and your doggie.


3. A Dog Harness to Get In and Out of the Car

PetSafe CareLift Handicapped Support Dog Harness

Older or impaired dogs have a tough time getting in and out of the car. A dog lift harness can help make things easier on them.

A dog lift harness is a specially designed piece of equipment that helps an older or impaired dog get in and out of the car. It consists of a strap that goes around the dog’s chest and another strap that goes around the dog’s hindquarters. The straps are connected to a handle, which the owner uses to lift the dog into and out of the car.

Using a dog lift harness is much easier on both the dog and the owner than trying to lift the dog into and out of the car without one. It also helps to prevent injuries to both the dog and the owner.


4. Tie Out Stake

Four Paws Walk-About Spiral Tie-Out Stake

Taking frequent rest and exercise breaks is important when traveling with your pup. Having a tie out stake when taking a road trip can come in very handy. They twist into the ground providing a firm attachment and a long line that you attach to your dogs’ harness or collar. This way your hands are free and they have some room to stretch their legs. It is useful for picnic stops and when you are unpacking and loading the car and want to keep an eye on your pooch.


5. Biodegradable Poop Bags

arth Rated Dog Poop Bag Holder with Dog Poop Bags

There are many earth-conscious options for poop bags when traveling with dogs. Some brands offer biodegradable options that break down in landfills. Others come with a handy carrier you can attach to the leash. Here is a great option for a starter kit that comes with bio-degradable bags and a carrier.

Carrying extra poop bags while traveling with your dog is always a good idea. You never know when you’ll need one and it’s better to be safe than sorry. Be sure to dispose of the used bags properly in a trash can or designated area. Finally, be mindful of where you step – especially if you’re in a new place. Nobody wants to step in dog poop!


6. Portable Feeding Bowl and Water Bowl

Mobile Dog Gear Week Away Tote Pet Travel Bag

A lot of people love taking road trips with their dogs. But one thing that can be a pain is feeding and watering them while on the go. There are a few different products on the market that aim to make this easier.

The first is portable feeding and watering bowls. These are usually made out of silicone or another flexible material and can be easily collapsed down when not in use. This handy kit comes with a tote bag that also holds all the food along with the bowls so that everything is neatly contained in one place, it also makes a great gift for your pet-loving friends. Using a kit is much easier than trying to juggle everything yourself!


7. Pet-Friendly Water Bottle

Highwave AutoDogMug Portable Dog Water Bottle

When it comes to staying healthy and hydrated on the go, there’s nothing more important than having fresh, clean water at your fingertips.

This one-handed water bottle is perfect for travel, as it allows you to easily keep your pet hydrated without having to stop and take a break. Simply fill up the bottle before you leave, and you’ll have fresh water for your furry friend all day long.


8. Easy-to-Carry Treat Bag

PET N PET Dog Training Treat Pouch

Dog owners know that sometimes they can be a handful when you’re trying to travel. They might start barking or misbehaving because they get anxious being in new surroundings. But with this easy-to-carry treat bag, you can keep your dog’s favorite treats close at hand and stop them from misbehaving.

This bag clips easily to your belt, so you don’t have to worry about holding on to it while you’re trying to manage your dog. And because the treats are right there within reach, you can give them one whenever they start behaving badly. This way, they’ll quickly learn that good behavior results in a tasty reward.

With this handy treat bag, you won’t have to think about what to do when your dog starts acting up.


9. On the Go Treats

Navus Naturals Travel Snacks Duck & Ham Recipe Dog Treats

Dogs are notorious for getting car sick. However, there are several ways to help prevent this from happening. First, try feeding your dog smaller meals more frequently throughout the day instead of one large meal. Second, make sure to pack plenty of snacks and treats that are easy to eat and won’t make a mess. Third, choose snacks and treats that are good for sensitive tummies or those prone to car sickness. Another great tip is to look for snacks and treats that are gluten-free, pea-free, flax free, and non-GMO, all of which can irritate a sensitive stomach. By following these simple tips, you can help make your road trip with your dogs more enjoyable for everyone involved!


10. Long-Lasting Chew Treats

WHIMZEES by Wellness Hedgehog Dental Chews

If you’re looking for ways to keep your dog entertained and distracted during a long car ride, look for long-lasting chew treats. Not only will they keep your pup busy, but they won’t cause any trouble in the car. Plus, they’ll be happy and peaceful the whole trip.


11. Life Jacket

Frisco Ripstop Dog Life Jacket

If you’re taking a road trip with your dog, it’s a great idea to have a life jacket on hand. This is especially true if you’re planning on taking a boat trip with your dog. A life jacket will help keep your dog safe in the event that they should fall into the water.

If your dog is unsure around water, a life jacket can give them the confidence they need to enjoy themselves. If your dog falls into the water and begins to panic, a life jacket can help them stay afloat until you can get to them.


12. Dog First-Aid Kit

Adventure Medical Kits Adventure Dog Series Trail Dog First Aid Kit

When on a road trip, if you are planning a day hike or even a cross-country trek, it’s always a good idea to be prepared for the worst. That’s why, if you’re taking your furry friend along for the ride, you should pack a first-aid kit designed specifically for dogs.

Just like humans, active dogs are susceptible to cuts, scrapes, and other minor injuries. And while most of these can be treated at home, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. After all, accidents do happen—especially when you’re far from home.

So what should you include in your dog’s first-aid kit? At a minimum, you should have gauze pads and tape, scissors, tweezers, sterile wipes, cotton balls, and antiseptic ointment.


13. Pet-Friendly Car Tunes

dog sitting inside the car
Image Credit: Piqsels

Everyone knows that the best part of a road trip is the soundtrack! If you’re one of the many pet parents who love to take their furry friend along on road trips, you might be wondering what kind of music is best to play to keep your pup calm and relaxed. While there is no definitive answer, studies have shown that some types of music can help reduce anxiety in dogs and even provide a sense of fun and bonding.

However, it’s important to remember that not all music is created equal when it comes to our four-legged friends. Some tunes can actually cause upset or even increased anxiety levels in pups, so it’s important to do a little research before hitting the open road.

Generally speaking, reggae or soft rock have been shown to be good choices for keeping dogs relaxed during a car ride. However, every dog is different, so it’s important to experiment with different genres and see what works best for your furry friend. The tunes you play can be a great way to bond with your pet and make memories of a fantastic trip!

divider-dog

Conclusion

In conclusion, traveling with dogs can be a fun and rewarding experience for both you and your furry friend. By following the tips above, you can help make sure that your trip is safe, comfortable, and enjoyable for everyone involved. So get out there and hit the open road—your adventure awaits!


Featured Image Credit: Nomad Soul, Shutterstock

Our vets

Want to talk to a vet online?

Whether you have concerns about your dog, cat, or other pet, trained vets have the answers!

Our vets