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Checklist for Taking a Road Trip with Your Dog

Dalmatian in the Variocage Pet Travel Cage Plus Luggage

By Dawn Ross, October 2015
So you’ve decided to take your dog with you on your vacation. Yay! You and your dog are in for a great time. If you’re new to this, though, the thought of planning may be a bit daunting. Taking your dog with you is not as simple as snapping on his leash and getting in the car. But don’t worry. We can help you make it nearly as effortless.

Here are some things you will want to do before the trip:

Know how your dog handles car rides. You don’t want to find out too late that your dog gets car sick. If he does, you will want to make sure you have a pet car seat cover or cargo liner. Guardian gear makes some great seat covers and Kurgo makes some great cargo liners, seat covers, and door guards.

Wherever you’re visiting, make sure they are pet friendly and that they will accommodate large or multiple pets (if applicable). If not, make sure you have safe temporary accommodations for your pet. It should be noted that although a hotel may be pet friendly, they generally do not allow you to leave your dog unattended in the room. And if visiting a pet friendly location, it is probably a good idea to practice pet etiquette.

Make sure your dog is healthy and current on all his vaccines. A visit to your vet a week or two before the trip is a good idea, especially if you have an older dog or a dog with chronic health problems.

And finally, make sure you have everything you need for the road and for your trip. Be sure to go through this list a week or two before your trip so you have time to buy whatever you’re missing.

  • Carrier, pet travel crate, or dog seat belt
  • Dog food and food bowl
  • Drinking water and water bowl
  • Blanket or dog bed
  • Leash
  • Collar
  • Current ID tags secured to collar
  • Veterinary information and emergency contacts
  • Pet meds
  • Pet first aid kit
  • Dog toys
  • Dog waste disposal bags

If your destination includes hiking or camping with your dog, also check out our article on Safety Tips for an Outdoor Trip with Your Dog. Being prepared will make your trip more enjoyable for both you and your dog. You’re only worry will be whether or not you left the coffee pot on at home!


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