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April 29th

Road Trips with Your Dog: Not as Difficult as You Think

Road Trips with Your Dog: Not as Difficult as You Think

Road trips can be stressful for both you and your dog, resulting in messes and all sorts of other hairy situations.

But travelling by car with your dog doesn’t have to be a nightmare. Here are some easy steps that you can take to make every road trip with your dog go smoothly.

Make Sure You Bring All Of The Essentials

The best way to make a road trip go off without a hitch is to pack all that you’ll need. Here’s a list of what you should bring with you every time you travel with your dog.

Poop bags

Make sure you pack enough poop bags. Remember, you’ll always be happy that you packed an extra few.

Water bowl

Dogs often get dehydrated over the course of long road trips. Make sure that you have a water bowl and plenty of water. And you can even buy spill proof bowls that make it easier to prevent a mess

Leash and collar

You’ll have to take your dog out for breaks. Make sure that you have their leash and collar so that you can take them for a walk and let them go to the bathroom

Bed or blanket

You’ll want to create a comfortable environment for your dog to rest. Make sure to bring a bed or blanket so that your dog will want to lie down. If you don’t, they will pace around, which will make them- and you- anxious, as well as less safe.


If your dog spills, you’ll want to have towels to clean up the water. You should also consider bringing older towels or rags, in case you need to clean up a more serious mess

Stain remover

Accidents will happen on road trips, even with the most well behaved dogs. Make sure your have a good stain remover that can clean up your dog’s mess.

Your dog’s favorite toys

One of the best ways to keep your dog calm in the car is to bring plenty of their favorite toys along for the ride. This will make them less anxious by giving them something to do. And it should keep them from bothering you as you focus on driving.

All the food you’ll need for the trip

Especially for those planning for long trips, you’re going to need to make sure you pack enough food. Always bring a little more than what you think you’ll need. And store it in an airtight container. This will keep it fresh, and also keep your car from smelling like dog food

A basic first aid kit with:

  • Scissors and tweezers
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Hydrogen peroxide

And if your dog has any other specific medical needs, make sure that you have all of the appropriate medication

Let Your Dog Blow Off Steam Before The Trip

If you have an active dog, it’s a good idea to let them use up some energy before they get in the car. This can help make them calmer, and reduce the chances that they get restless during the ride.

When choosing to do this, however, you need to be careful. That’s because you risk getting them wound up right before the trip. If they don’t use enough energy, they will be hyper in the car.

Make Sure To Schedule Breaks

The best way to have a horrible road trip? Not stopping enough. Although it can be tempting to try to drive straight through, you’ll make life much harder for your puppy.

Try to stop every few hours so that your dog can stretch their legs and go to the bathroom. This will help keep your dog- and you- less anxious during the trip. And make sure to give your dog a treat and some water whenever you stop.

You can also plan some longer breaks if you are passing any interesting parks. Most national parks aren’t dog friendly, but you’ll find plenty of state parks that will accommodate your puppy.

Check That Your Hotels Are Dog Friendly

Many hotels close to roads will be dog friendly. However, not all are. Call before you arrive to make sure that the hotel you plan to stay at is dog friendly. And make sure that they don’t have any size limits, or charge expensive extra fees for dogs.

And make sure that you have extra clean bedding for your dog for when they are sleeping at the hotel. Dogs will often be restless when sleeping in new places. Familiar bedding will help calm them down and ensure that they get a good night of sleep.

Stay Safe On The Road

When you picture driving with your dog, you may imagine a puppy smiling through an open window, its tongue wagging in the wind. But whenever you take your dog on a road trip, you should make sure that you take appropriate safety measures.

Here are some of the steps you should take to keep your dog safe in the car during every road trip:

Keep your puppy restrained

Many dog owners let their dog roam free in the car. But this can be dangerous, both for you and your dog. Use a dog harness to keep your dog for moving around. Or consider keeping your puppy in a crate whenever they’re in the car

Never allow them in the front seat

If you choose to let your dog stay unrestrained, never allow them into the front seat. This can put you both at serious risk for injury

Don’t roll down the windows all of the way

You’ll also want to make sure that your dog can’t fit through the window. Although it may be cute, you should play it safe and keep your dog from leaning out of the window.

Still looking for the perfect puppy to travel with? Head over to our puppy finder to find your dream companion.

About Uptown Staff

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