Road-tripping with your dog

by Akshay Mirchandani

As schools are shutting down for the summer, are you and your family ready to create some great summer vacation memories by hitting the road with your furry best friend? Before you load up and get going on your trip, follow these few steps and tips to ensure it’s a safe and enjoyable trip for you and your little one!

  1. Contact your vet before you go

If it’s been a while since you took your dog for a check-up with his vet, now would be the time to take him in. Ensure your dog is up-to-date with all his vaccinations, and ask if additional vaccinations are required for the trip since your dog may encounter different threats or problems at your destination or along the way. And also, take the time to program your phone with all the details such as contact information, including the address, for a 24x7 emergency dog vet near your destination.

2. Plan your breaks

You want to ensure that the travelling schedule accommodates enough time for regular breaks. For your dog’s physical comfort and happiness, your dog needs to have the opportunity not just to relieve himself but also to walk around and experience the new environment surrounding him. Try to take a 15 to 30 minute break after every 4 hours. You can also make very long road trips more enjoyable and fun for both of you if you plan your stops at locations with pet-friendly features, even if it’s just a simple dog park!

3. Get a weather report of your destination

This can help you better prepare for weather conditions such as rain that could slow down your travel, and also to avoid potential natural calamities, such as floods which are common during monsoon. Also, take the destination’s weather conditions into consideration when you are packing for your dog. If it will be colder than he’s used to, you may need to pack some clothing for him as well.

4. Book a pet-friendly accommodation

Now that you have your entire travel route planned, you need to plan for your stay. Not all hotels accept pets, and even campsites often have restrictions. You should be contacting individual hotels in advance to find out their pet policies, including breed restrictions, rules, and their fees.

5. Crate your dog’s safety

As your dog will be spending many hours in the car, it is more important than ever to consider all safety issues. The safest way for dogs to be travelling in a car is in a safety-certified, crash-tested crate. The crate will also provide a comfortable, safe, and familiar place for your dog to sleep in at the hotel, or any other accommodation that you have chosen to stay in.

 6. Pack a separate bag for your dog

Separating your dog’s things from your items will make it easier to access them when you need them during your holiday. When packing, think of all the places you will visit along the way. Items you may need include your dog’s food and food bowl, water and water bowl, toys for chewing and fetching, medications, protective clothing, dog-safe insect repellent and sunscreen, swimming googles, blanket and a dog towel, his shampoo and conditioner, a flea comb and tick remover, poop bags and his treats.

7. Prepare your dog for the upcoming trip

Many dogs suffer from car or motion sickness, so it is best to feed your dog a few hours before you get in the car and get going. Before you head out, take a nice, long walk, so she’s ready to rest and relax in the car for your road-trip.

8. Maintain your usual daily routine

It’s not possible to do everything exactly the way you would at home, but the more you remain consistent with your daily routine, the better. Once you reach your destination, feed and walk your dog on the same schedule you would at home to maintain his routine and health.


And now, you’ve taken your time to prepare, so now just sit back, have fun, and enjoy your upcoming trip together! Contact us for any queries straight away!