Top Tips For Traveling With Dogs

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Dogs are some of the most incredible animals on Earth, famed for their loyalty, intelligence, love of people, and ability to forge real bonds with those they know the best. A canine companion can really feel like a full-fledged member of the family, and so it’s no surprise that many people like to bring their pups along on road trips, cross-country journeys, vacations, and long drives.

While bringing your pet along for the fun is always more exciting than leaving them behind bored and alone, it comes with a few risks. Dogs can all react differently when in cars. Some of them can get car sick, for example, while others might even get irritated and aggressive at the thought of being cooped up for so long in such a small space.

To minimize the risks of dog bites, travel sickness, accidents, distractions, and other dangers, there are some simple tips every dog owner can keep in mind when traveling with their furry friends. Read on to learn some useful advice and helpful tips for keeping your pet safe during a car ride.

Dog on a suitcase
Dog on a suitcase

Always Use Crates, Carriers, and Restraints

The first tip, and one of the most important tips for any dog owner to know when it comes to traveling with dogs, is to make sure you get equipped by investing in a dog crate, carrier, or restraint.

The right option for you will depend on the size and temperament of your dog, as well as the kind of vehicle you’re driving. Bigger dogs might be better off in restraints, for example, while smaller pups in little cars could be okay in a crate or carrier.

Why is this so important? Well, it’s often the case that dogs can move around a lot in cars and may not feel safe if they’re left free. They could distract the driver or obstruct their view, as well as be flung forward if an accident occurs. Crates and harnesses help to prevent all of this.

Take Precautions for Motion Sickness

If you have a dog that suffers from motion sickness, the idea of taking them on a road trip or long drive might seem almost impossible. However, there are a few things you can do to prepare for the worst-case scenario and help your dog enjoy a more comfortable journey.

The first step is to avoid feeding your dog in the 4-6 hours before traveling. This gives them time to fully digest any food they ate before and reduces the risk of vomiting. Using a carrier or harness will also help them feel calmer, and trying to drive gently, with a calm, quiet atmosphere inside the vehicle, can also make a positive difference.

It also helps to give your dog some familiar scents like a blanket or their favorite toy to reduce stress levels, and there are even special anti-nausea medications and natural remedies you can get from vets.

Pack food for your canine companion

To keep your pup happy when traveling, don’t forget to take the needed amount of food. Owners usually question themselves whether they know everything about keeping treats fresh and healthy. The main rule when going on a trip with your furry friend is to avoid taking foods high in fat due to the short lifetime. Better choose some canned meals or dry food that have to be stored in an airtight container. To get to know about all the variety of treats to take with you while traveling, check and consult your vet to pick the best option for your dog.

Tags and Leashes

Another useful tip when traveling with dogs or any other kinds of pets is making sure that they have some form of identification on them, so even if they happen to get out of the vehicle or run off somehow, you’ll have the best chance of getting them back.

For dogs, it’s important that they wear collars with name tags and some contact information so that if anyone finds them, they’ll be able to get in touch with you.

Getting a microchip fitted to your dog can also make a real difference when it comes to finding lost pets, and having a leash attached at all times will give you something to grab onto if your pup tries to jump out of an open door or window.

Take Breaks and Never Leave Your Dog Unattended

If you’re going on a very long car ride, like a road trip or cross-country journey, it’s important to remember to take breaks now and then.

Make sure you pack some water for your dog so you can give it a drink when you stop and let it outside to stretch its legs and answer nature’s call, if necessary too.

It’s also important to never leave your dog unattended in a car. Dozens of dogs die every year from being left in hot cars on sunny days and others can be abducted or escape from the vehicle if left without supervision too.


Your dog can easily get stressed out or feel sick in a car, as well as potentially cause dangerous distractions for you while you drive, so make sure to keep these tips in mind and stay safe to have the best travel experiences with your pup.

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Susan Melony

Susan is an avid writer, traveler, and overall enthusiast

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