Dog Road Trip Essentials: Top Things to Buy for A Road Trip

Temperatures are rising fast and summer is in full swing. You can bet your bottom dollar that your pooch is feeling the heat just as much as you are! If you've been thinking of taking that long-overdue road trip to beat the heat and make the most out of the summer season, there's never been a better time than now. Your furry friend will agree.

So, how can you make sure you've got everything you need to keep your dog calm, healthy, and happy as you take to the open road? In this article, we've rounded up all the essentials you should get before you go. We’ve also included all the tips you need to guarantee that your pet will have just as much fun as you while staying safe at the same time! 

Do Dogs Like Road Trips?

First things first, let's answer one of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to dogs and longer road trips: Do dogs even like to go on a road trip?

Generally speaking, that will fully depend on your dog's disposition and on their previous experiences with car rides. Some pups love to get their head out of the car window and feel the breeze, while others tend to run and hide at the mere mention of a short car ride, let alone road tripping.

Needless to say, you should only consider taking a long trip with your dog if they're used to sitting in a car for long periods of time without excessive distress.

Can a dog get car sick?

Unfortunately, dogs can get motion sickness just as humans can, especially if they're quite young. While some pups might outgrow motion sickness by the time they're around 1 year old, pet owners are recommended to take plenty of toys along with them to ease their pup's anxiety. You should also keep the inside of the car as cool as possible, and withhold food for 12 hours prior to the trip in order to keep car sickness at bay.

How to Road Trip with A Dog

The best way to get your pooch used to longer trips is to take short trips regularly, whether you're visiting family, going to the vet, or simply going to the store.

Cool cars make for happy pups, so you should make sure to create a dog-friendly environment in your car. Shield the inside from the heat as much as you can, for example, which can easily be done by investing in sunshades for your windscreen and back windows.

If you're dealing with an overexcited puppy, tiring them out with vigorous play and exercise in your local park might be the best course of action. On top of that, you should make sure to tick all the boxes in your packing list when it comes to stimulating toys, calming aids, and other travel accessories like doggie travel bags and strollers. Finally, don't forget to bring along plenty of water and a water bowl to keep your travel buddy hydrated throughout the trip!

Dog on a trip

With travel essentials out of the way, the last thing to remember before embarking on your great American road trip is to make sure you're putting safety first. You'll need to invest in a doggie seat belt, pup-safe car seat, or even a full harness for longer rides to ensure your dog is kept comfortable and safe throughout the journey.

Once you've reached your final destination, make sure you leave your dog plenty of time to get used to the new surroundings and let them indulge in their favorite dog treats for a job well done!

How often do you stop on a road trip with a dog?

As a general rule of thumb, you should make sure to plan frequent rest stops and bathroom breaks to let your pup stretch their legs and pee, ideally once every couple of hours. This is also the best time to give your dog food, as you should avoid feeding them while on the move.

Can you leave your dog unattended?

If you're planning on leaving the car for short periods of time, perhaps for a quick shop at the gas station or for a bathroom break of your own, you should make sure to bring your dog along with you at all times.

Leaving your pup in a parked car can not only lead to quick, dangerous overheating but can also lead to concerned passersby trying to break your window to free them!

Here's What You Should Give A Dog for A Long Road Trip

So, with safety concerns and key pet-friendly practices out of the way, let's have a recap of all the travel essentials you should pack along with you to make your dog feel safe and comfortable through it all:

Doggie car seat

Using a dog car safety seat is the best way to ensure they are protected every time they go on a ride, and securing them properly in the back seat with a seat belt or harness before you get behind the wheel is essential to protect them in case of an accident.

Just make sure to never use a regular leash or tether to keep them restrained, as it might lead to injury!

Travel accessories

Dog traveling in car

Make sure to pack a travel bag fit with all the essentials: poop bags, a comfy blanket, water bowls, hand sanitizer, toys to keep them entertained and provide mental stimulation on the road.

You should also make sure to bring a couple of dog tags (an id tag worn on the collar and a spare one just in case) to ensure your pup can be found if they end up getting lost in a new location.

Calming aids and dog treats

Anxious puppies will need extra care during a long ride, so make sure to bring along their favorite calming aid and treats to make them feel at ease! Just remember to only give them food during their potty breaks, as anxious dogs are more prone to experiencing motion sickness.

Your One-Stop-Shop for A Dog-Friendly Car

So, are you ready to get behind the wheel and treat your pooch to their best journey yet?

If you already have your dog-friendly accommodation and portable food figured out, all you have left to do is fill your travel bag with stimulating toys, tags, or even a travel bed to let them hit the road as the kings and queens they are.

You can find all your travel essentials shopping at Bitch New York — browse our collection today to find the perfect fit for your pup's unique sense of style!

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