Dog-Friendly Road Trips: 10 Must Haves for Stress Free Traveling

Any dog lover knows that a vacation is just not the same if your dogs can’t join in on the fun!

For this reason we are huge fans of bringing the dogs along whenever possible. Although it requires a bit of extra preparation, after many years and dozens of road trips, we like to think that we have become quite proficient at it!

Behold, our list of 10 Essentials for Traveling with Dogs!

Road Trip With Dogs and Essential Things Needed

1. Lid Locking Container

Naturally, you will be bringing dog food along on your road trip. We recommend packing it in a lid locking container as opposed to keeping it in the standard food bag to prevent accidental spills or tears. Depending on where you will be staying these are also great for containing smells and not attracting unwanted animals!

2. Measuring Cup

Just because you may be lax with the calorie counting on vacation doesn’t mean that you should do the same for your pets! Consistency is key in maintaining a healthy weight and it is very important to measure your dog’s meals. We use a collapsible measuring cup to save space!

3. Collapsible Water Bowl

It is very important to remember to keep your dog hydrated on a long road trip. Set a reminder on your phone to make regular stops and provide fresh water. We recommend bringing along a collapsible water bowl for convenience and to save precious space in the car!

4. Waste Bags

When you gotta go, you gotta go right?

You will likely be visiting rest stops, parks or even an open patch of grass to let the dogs do their business! Cleaning up after your dog is not only courteous but also good for the environment. We like to use biodegradable dog poop bags and keep them in a convenient carrying dispenser.

5. Insect Repellent Wipes

In addition to making sure your dog is current on all their flea and tick medications, pest repellent wipes can provide an extra layer of protection when visiting new places. We use an all natural option that takes advantage of the natural pest repellent properties of lemongrass, sesame and castor oils.

6. Extended Leash

When visiting unfamiliar places it is particularly important to keep your dog leashed. We like to pack a 30 foot training leash to give the dogs a little room to explore whenever possible. These leashes also function great as a tie-out if you are stopping for a picnic or rest on a hike and want to keep them close by.

7. Reflective Gear

It is very likely that you will be doing at least a portion of the driving at night. Packing reflective gear for you and your dog is a great idea to ensure you can be seen when making pit stops or taking potty breaks along the way.

Road Trip and Tavel With Man’s Best Friend8. Dog Energy Bars

Things can get a bit hectic on a road trip, so it is a great idea to have bars or snacks on hand that will provide sustaining energy. Make sure to keep in mind your dogs regular eating schedule, and if you are unable to feed at that time supplement as needed. These snacks are also great to use as an energy booster during long hikes. Be aware of your dog’s daily activity level when determining whether or not these calories should be left out of their next meal.

9. Travel Crate

Many dogs see their crates a familiar and safe place. We recommend bringing along a lightweight, collapsible crate so that they will feel comfortable in their new environment.

10. Taste of Home

Last but not least, pack a small bag with some of your dogs favorite things. Pick things that bring comfort to your dog and can ease any stress or anxiety they may experience while traveling. We like to bring some of our favorite toys and a blanket!

Traveling with dogs does not have to be stressful! Knowing what to bring along, and a bit of preparation can make the experience enjoyable for you and your pets!

Stay safe and happy travels!

What else makes your list of travel essentials for dogs? Let us know in the comments below!

If you and your dog like to lead adventurous lives, you might want to consider investing in one of our 4Knines seat covers for dogs. They make traveling a breeze and there are no limits to where you and your pup can travel.

kevin and rachaelKevin and Rachael Sando

Kevin and Rachael Sando are the humans behind the site After years of trial and error and lots of frustrating purchases, they started MyDogLikes in order to share the best that the industry has to offer with pet parents all over the world. The real stars of the show are their Golden Retrievers, Harley and Charlie, also known as the Senior and Junior Product testers! Their site focuses on providing in depth reviews for pet products,services, and destinations so pet parents can make healthy, fun, and informed decisions for their best fur-friend!!

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45 Responses to Dog-Friendly Road Trips: 10 Must Haves for Stress Free Traveling

  1. Great post! We love road tripping with our pups!

  2. That’s a great list! We also bring along our pups’ latest vet records & their medical insurance information in case of an emergency.

  3. Val Silver says:

    I wish I could travel more with my dog but he gets very car sick. Just got him some meds from the vet, but haven’t tried them yet.

  4. Those are 10 great things everyone should have when traveling.

  5. James Doorey says:

    A small container of dog shampoo and conditioner. We recently spent sometime on the Floida panhandle with the constant swimming in the salt water a fresh water rinse and a quick soap up in the outdoor shower made us both feel better!

  6. I wrote these down for BlogPaws 2015. Thanks so much!

  7. DZ Dogs says:

    Couldn’t find “My Dog Likes Guest Post” but I love your site!

  8. great post with great tips. I like #10 and never thought of insect repelling wipes what a great idea.

  9. Gabrielle says:

    It’s not a vacation if the dogs don’t come along! This is a terrific check list, especially the measuring cup since that’s what I think we’re all most likely to forget.

  10. Ruth Epstein says:

    Love the tips thanks

  11. Wehaf says:

    I’ve never heard of dog energy bars, but I bet my dogs would love them!

  12. Emily Redden says:

    Great post! I’m finally buying a vehicle in a few weeks and can’t wait for summer adventuring with my girl!

  13. Kim Kessler says:

    This is a great idea! My dogs usually get the basics, water, a bowl and treats! Love it!

  14. KateV says:

    Great list! I’d also add a pet first aid kit, and a spare collar and ID tags. Tags should also be updated with temporary contact information if traveling away from home!

  15. Theresa A says:

    This is a great checklist, thanks for sharing. And you’re right, I know I just don’t enjoy trips the same if the dogs aren’t along too.

  16. Angelica says:

    These are great tips. I didn’t even know insect repellant wipes for pets existed! We never do a road trip without my dog’s trusty crate and lots of water for him.

  17. Anita k says:

    We have three babies,so this is going to be extremely helpful.thanks so much for sharing.

  18. Jill H says:

    I like to bring a blanket with that they sleep on at home. Also if your dog is on any medication be sure to bring enough with for trip.

  19. Dagmar m says:

    These are some great tips!! We are thinking of taking our dogs along this summer (:

  20. joanna reed says:

    Wow, love the tips and information on this post. My Princess Roo loves traveling with us on road trips.

  21. Sharon Gilbert says:

    Great helpful tips!

  22. Linda Szymoniak says:

    Great suggestions. I not only love to take my own dogs for long car rides, but I’m a volunteer rescue transport driver so I’m always having unfamiliar dogs and cats in my vehicle. Having the basics along is always a good thing.

  23. Sam says:

    Great list, especially for travel, when things are often forgotten in the rush of packing

  24. Ellen Reardon says:

    We are just working on making my dog used to the car so he doesnt get anxious and car sick anymore, we would love to take him on trips!

  25. Christine Aiello says:

    This is a great post! It told me some things that I didn’t have on my list for traveling with my dog! THANKS!

  26. Margot C says:

    All makes good sense. I think I might hold off on the energy bars for Mike though. I don’t think he needs more energy.

  27. Richard Hicks says:

    Never thought of some of these. Thanks for the tips

  28. This was a great list and includes all of our essentials when we take a road trip with our pups too- it’s our favorite thing to do as a family!

  29. Emily Endrizzi says:

    Great list! Although we packed the crate last year for vacation and he never used it. This year, that will probably stay home, but everything else is a must have and the crate thing is likely just our finicky mutt!

  30. Great trip tips!
    Water sources and content vary greatly as we travel, which can have serious effects on our pets. Bringing a few gallons of water from home can help the transition if you will be staying long, or just use the water from home and prevent any issues.

    I always carry a doggie first aid kit along with supplements like Optagest, a prebiotic and probiotic to help their digestive tract, along with antihistamines, bandages, etc. I love Rescue Remedy, Happy Traveler, and the ThunderShirt to relieve stress as well as motion sickness and anxiety.
    Be sure to crate or tether your dog inside the car with a body halter such as the Dolan’s Dog Doodads Wonder Walker and Car Strap. Dogs who are loose, even if they lay down calmly can become projectiles in an accident or during heavy braking.
    And I always carry a spare collar with ID tags, Wonder Walker and leash just in case I lose my original set. ID tags have my cell phone number as well as numbers to anyone traveling with me and at my destination.

  31. Jeff Logan says:

    Thanks for the wonderful road trip tips and for including our fabulous KlipScoop food scoop in your must-have supplies. Dexas and Popware for Pets make an entire line of pet-travel-oriented products!

  32. LOUISE says:

    Great tips!! I need to comment on the dog in the convertible, no shade, tongue hanging out to the floor, NOT. GOOD.
    It needs water and shade STAT! ALSO if you notice the dogs tongue is “sticky” he /she is dehydrated and should see a. vet right away.
    If​ no vet is available,ice on the animals chest,if not ice, find a very cool shady stream and bath her for a good while and force water til a vet is available…. Thanks for letting me share the poor pup with her tongue hanging out..
    We drink bottled water and​ so does our pet, so bring several cases along, it will help you avoid unnecessary puppy tummy issues… And your tummy, too. Thanks again… LOUISE

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