Learn the Tips, Tricks and Best Way to Travel with Dog in a Car Now.

Do you know that according to statistics, Americans drive at an average of 17,600 minutes per year? That’s a whole lot of time. And people like me who have pets whom we love so dearly, will understand that we can’t leave them behind just like that easily! The number of vacation time isn’t even included in this data. For that reason, everyone who has pets should know the best way to travel with dog in car.


People who are planning to bring their pets with them for the first time this coming holiday have numerous inquiries at the back of their minds for sure. Included in this mind game are those who were able to successfully travel with their dogs before but would like to improve their situation or find out what went wrong in the past.

Perhaps you have questions such as:

  • How should I do prior the​ event?
  • What should I bring?
  • How can things be easier this time?
  • or “Why bring them? It’s so stressful.

Lucky you because in this article, you will:

  • Understand the importance of having this knowledge,
  • Learn how to prepare for the travel,
  • Discover how to find solutions in case you encounter some problems during the travel, and
  • Find out the best tricks and tips when traveling with your pooches!

Roaming 101

Traveling solo, or with friends or family, is way different compared to having your canines aboard. The first thing that I would tell my friends, should they plan to bring their pet (any kind…), is that they should be more sensitive and that they should have a keen eye to observe anything that is not normal.

The reason for this is that your animals could not verbalize how they feel. Imagine having a human baby with you. That is exactly how you should take things into consideration. Learn to analyze their behavior so you can adjust and do preventive measures before something happens.

In the same light, traveling via plane and car is also different. The first option will have more restrictions but the latter can risk your dogs into more dangerous situations. There would not be any pit stops in the sky – we all know that. There would not be any chances of your dog getting lost inside a plane. They could not put their heads outside and enjoy the view up there as well. Lastly, the chances of them having motion sickness are less likely when they fly; therefore, you would not have to worry about their vomits compared to distance driving.

It is important to know the essentials when you are going to travel with a pet via car. Doing so will not only make your traveling smooth; you could also avoid certain problems on the health of your buddy. And well, for those who love their cars, avoid unnecessary filth inside. Most of all, if you are equipped with the proper knowledge, the trip will not be stressful at all.

Materials You Will Need

  • First aid kits and medications

First aid kits and medications. Ask your vet what medications you should bring as well.

  • Poop bags

When they gotta go, you gotta go as they say. So a handy poop bag should always be by your side.

  • Stain and odor remover

As part of the aftercare of traveling, getting a trustworthy stain and odor eliminator is a must. You wouldn’t want people to avoid carpooling with you because your car seats stink, don’t you?

  • Food and Drinks

Grab easy to prepare and serve dog meals that are protein-packed and nutritious. Also, as a friendly advice, check the contents of the dog food of your choice. Make sure that you aren’t killing them unintentionally. A friend of mine learned this in a hard and unfortunately, for him, it was already too late, his dog is gone.

Whenever you are buying dog foods, don’t just go after the brand. It also does not necessarily mean that since the product is expensive, your puppies are already safe from getting slowly poisoned.

Indeed, preparing your own meal can be the best alternative to prevent exposure from toxic products. However, we just simply do not have the luxury of time. Even though we really want to it, going to the grocery, getting the ingredients ready and cooking can be very time-consuming.

This is not propaganda against commercial dog food. Please do not get me wrong. But as I see my friend’s dog suffer from kidney disease due to high amounts of preservatives I just could not sit here without doing anything.

Do not wait until you see signs on your pooches as this may be too late. Aside from the fact that they will be suffering physically, you too will have to struggle emotionally with them. On top of that, if you are not careful about the things that you feed your pets, you will soon be shelling out money for their expensive vet clinic’s bills.

Still unconvinced? My sister’s dog eventually started getting weak and on a regular basis she and her daughter with carry their pooch, Princess, to the doctor since they cannot tell at first what was causing her condition. To cut the long story short, she passed away with a diagnosis of cancer. How can this happen when all they do is provide what they think is best for Princess? You guessed it right – the food that Princess was eating is not organic at all!

And as for you my dear reader, treasure this warning as an opportunity for you to enjoy longer time with your best pal. Learn from their experiences. Get your food from the one who understands nutrition well and who really cares for your dog passionately. If you don’t, you may not be having another travel time with them.

Get safe foods for your pets at healthy-k9.com

  • Pet Diapers

Being an advocate for the environment, I would highly suggest for you to make use of washable Dog Diapers so as to reduce plastic consumption and waste. Nonetheless, a disposable one is also available on the market should you resist the idea of handwashing your dog’s poop.

  • Safety harness, crate or barrier

The safety of your doggies is our utmost priority. Invest in a reliable seat belt without spending too much.

  • Seat covers

For practical reasons, you can make use of garbage bags to cover your seat. On the other hand, if you’ve observed that the texture is making your best bud uncomfortable, you may purchase seat covers instead.

  • Toys

Aside from the fact that dogs enjoy hanging their head and sticking their tongues out of the window, it is best to bring things that could entertain them since the first option has lots of health hazards. You can either give them a toy or treat, or a combination of both.

The Best Way to Travel with Dog in a Car: A Step-by-step Series

1. Get Ready for Your Trip

First things first: The importance of collars and identification tags should not be underestimated when you travel.

Next, understand that it would never be comfortable to go on a trip when you are not feeling good. The same goes out for your dog. Make sure you bring them to a vet to have their health checked.

Dogs love routines. Before the big day, try to get your dogs in the car for small journeys. Bring them to a park where they can play or any place that they could have fun. 

This will make them associate pleasure with traveling; therefore, they would always look forward for the destination with a happy mindset when you drive.

Last but not the least; discover if there are vet clinics on the way. This way, you will know where to go in cases of canine emergency.

2. Prepare the Things You need to Bring

To do this successfully, you must anticipate what could happen along the way. Address how would the pet feel. Remember, they cannot say it directly.

  • Hungry and Thirsty

Pack protein-Filled meals that they are already accustomed to. Never ever try to switch food in an instant. Do not forget to provide them with fluids as well. Just make sure not to overload them with food or water or else you’ll have to deal with the mess after they barf.

Since we are on the topic of throwing up, make sure that you properly equipped his area with protection. Ensure that your cleaning materials are within reach.

  • Bored – Yes

Your pups can feel boredom too. That’s why you should not forget their favorite toy on board. This will get them entertained. You can also talk and sing with him from time to time!

  • Uncomfortable – Check their seats

Are the garbage bags you’ve placed as protection for the car seat making them irritable? Are the seatbelts too tight? Should you resort to window guards instead?

  • Needs bathroom Break

Toilet training your pals becomes advantageous when you go on trips. But if not, do not worry as you can just put diapers on them. Make certain that they are wearing the appropriate size for them.

3. Place Them in Their Safe Spot

Puppies are safer when they seat in the rear part of the car. Make sure you put their seatbelts on before you start driving. It is highly suggested that you do not put them in the front seat as inflated airbags can injure and suffocate them.

However, bigger and more behaved dogs can co-pilot with you as long as it’s legal. Safeguard your car seats without having them notice by installing padded seat protectors in the passenger seat beside you.

Playful dogs, on the other hand, will just be a cause of major distractions; hence, allowing them to sit in front is a major no-no.

Do not ever think about placing your pets on your lap while you drive as well. Not only it is illegal in some states, it also poses a great danger to you, your pet, and other travelers on the road once they decide to move uncontrollably.

Should there be a need to open the window, make sure that you do not give too much space that they could jump out of the car accidentally.

Last but not the least, do not put the dogs at the trunk or truck bed if you do not want to asphyxiate them, hurt them or see them fly when you suddenly hit the brake pedals.

4. Prioritize their Wellbeing During the Travel

Take time to check your dogs from time to time and attend to their needs. Provide enough food and drink so they will not get hungry or dehydrated. During hot sunny days and the ac cannot provide the appropriate temperature, open the windows so both of you can enjoy the fresh air. Prevent heat stroke by putting their water container beside them.

Ensure that they are seating at ease. Check if the seatbelts are too tight or too loose. Evaluate if you need to readjust the position of the chairs.

Assess if they are feeling dizzy or nauseated. If you feel a sudden energy drop, you might as well park for a few minutes to examine them properly and provide the needed first aid.

Pro Tips and Tricks

  • One of the things that people forget is that there are certain states here in the US which impose strict animal protection law (example: not leaving your dogs unattended inside a car – whether you’re out to use the toilet or to buy refreshments). Be careful!
  • Traveling light is very important. If you’ve noticed, I have suggested a bunch of materials that are very handy. When buying travel necessities for your dogs, you should highlight the convenience of the product too.
  • We might have seen a number of cartoons and movies portraying how dogs enjoy the breeze in their faces while they are inside a moving car. Although this might be true, did you know that there is a great risk when you allow them to do this?
  • For one, dirt, dust, and even pebbles can get to their eyes. There was also a study which concluded that the velocity of the air getting inside your dog’s lungs can impair it in the long run. Another danger is that they could accidentally hit anything – tree branches, road signs, etc. Your dog could get wounded because of that, and worse comes to worse, beheaded.


Life is short as we all know it. Do not let time pass by without your favorite dogs simply because you are afraid of bringing them with you during your road trips.

Getting prepared is getting ahead. Be equipped with the proper knowledge and skills by reading tips online and asking the experts. Make sure you also practice them as much as possible. Do not, however, forget the fact that every doggy is unique. One’s technique might not be applicable to your best friend. Learn how to experiment so you can find what suits the pup best. In no time, you and your pet will get so used to it that traveling becomes a therapy for both of you!

What is the best way to travel with dog in car for you so far? Do you have other suggestions? Share your experiences with us so we can also learn from them!

About the Author Alice Brown

I am just a car girl. Simply interested in the automotive and vehicular world. I started out as an apprentice mechanic working at my father’s garage. I'm hoping my two cents will help you fix a blinking light on the dashboard or that cranking noise that you don’t seem to know where it is coming from.

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