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Must Haves For A Road Trip With A Dog

Dog Car Travel Essentials

Whether you are embarking on a cross-country road trip with your dog or are planning a weekend getaway, you must come prepared. A few things are as fun as road tripping with a dog, but things can quickly turn into a nightmare if you forget to pack the dog road trip supplies!

While you may hate the idea of loading more stuff inside your car, you’ll be glad you packed a car seat cover the first time your pooch comes back from a trail with muddy paws!  

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To ensure you and your furry friend are having the best time on your adventure, be sure to pack all road trip essentials for dogs! 

13 Road Trip Essentials For Dogs

Traveling in a car is a great way to explore new places and have cool adventures with your pooch without having to worry about airline restrictions. 

If your next adventure is just around the corner, check out these 13 must-haves for a road trip with a dog first! 

1. Pet Restraints

When it comes to must-haves for a dog road trip, pet restraints top the list! Whether you decide to use a dog car seat, dog crate, barrier, or crash-tested seat belt harness the safety of your dog should always come first.

Either one of these pet restraints will prevent your dog from moving freely around the car and prevent them from distracting you during the ride. With crash-tested restraints, you have an added peace of mind that your pooch will be kept safe in an accident.

2. Car Seat Cover

If you dread seeing muddy paw prints all over your back seat, a car seat cover is a sound investment! A good cover will act as a barrier and protect the seats from all the dirt, mud, and grime that is traveling on your dog’s paws and coat. 

Best of all, the cover is just one “shake out” from being clean, and will save you the money on a professional car cleaning.

3. Pet First Aid Kit

Pet first aid kit is one of the most important dog road trip essentials! While on the road, you may not always be close to a veterinary office so it’s important to have a first aid kit for dogs handy. 

You can buy or make a first aid kit yourself, but make sure it contains all the items you’ll need to help your dog. 

When packing a first aid kit for dogs include hydrogen peroxide, vet wraps, corn starch or styptic powder, tweezers, and sterile gauze that will help you clean smaller cuts and staunch bleeding.  

4. Leash, Collar & Harness

Leash, collar, and harness are pretty standard items, but they are easy to forget, especially if your pooch knows to get inside the car on its own. Make sure you check off these items from your dog packing list before you embark on the road trip. 

It’s also a good idea to pack an extra leash with your dog road trip supplies in case the first gets displaced or you come across a lost dog that needs help. 

And you might need a special dog seat belt if you plan to travel with your dog in the backseat.

5. Bottled Water & Water Bowl

Bottled water is also on the top of the list of must-haves for traveling with a dog. When packing water for your pooch, don’t forget to pack water for yourself too!

To prevent dehydration, offer your dog water every couple of hours. Use a sturdy travel water bowl to prevent spills and keep your dog hydrated on the road. 

6. Food & Tasty Treats

While this road trip might be an ideal opportunity for you to try local cuisine, your pooch should stick to its regular food. Keeping up with your dog’s feeding routine will reduce the risk of an upset stomach. 

You can pack either kibble or wet dog food, depending on what type of dog food your pooch is used to eating at home. When it comes to dry food use zip-lock bags, or air-tight containers to keep the kibbles fresh and crunchy for mealtimes.

These calming dog treats for travel are also a big hit for anxious traveling pooches.

7. Supplements & Medication 

If your dog takes certain supplements or medication, don’t forget to bring them with you. The last thing you want to do on your trip is to look for veterinary offices, so keep up with the same health routine as at home. 

8. Dog Bed & Blankets

When making a dog travel checklist don’t forget about your dog’s bed and favorite blanket. Whether you’re going to stay in a pet-friendly hotel or a tent, your pooch will appreciate having a cozy bed to lie on after a day filled with exciting adventures.

There are many comfortable travel dog beds you can choose from. Measure your dog before ordering to ensure you’ve picked the right size bed.  

9. Dog Waste Bags

If your dog has to go, it has to go and there’s nothing you can do about it, except come prepared! Most urban areas have Pooper Scooper laws, and even if they don’t, you don’t want to be that owner that leaves their dog’s mess behind.

When it comes to dog travel essentials don’t forget to pack enough dog waste bags for the whole trip. Having a generous supply of waste bags will ensure you are prepared whenever your pooch has to go. 

10. Favorite Toys

Toys are definitely road trip essentials for dogs. Though traveling is exciting and fun, your pooch will enjoy playing with their favorite chew toys on breaks or in the evening before bed. 

If possible, keep up with your dog’s regular playing routine while on the road. This will help them release pent-up energy after a long day in the car. 

11. Proof Of Vaccination

Some places you visit may require proof of vaccination, so make sure that your pooch is current on all vaccines. 

It’s a good idea to have a paper copy of the vaccines in the car at all times. In case you need to drop your pup in daycare while you’re exploring areas where dogs aren’t allowed, a paper copy can come in handy. 

12. Current ID Tags

When it comes to things to pack for your pet, current identification tags are an absolute must! A simple engraved pet tag is a good option, but you should also consider a digital ID tag. 

Newer, digital pet ID tags contain a QR code that points people to a page with your dog’s information. Best of all, you can update your dog’s travel info as many times as you need. This way, the people who find your dog can easily locate you even if your pooch gets lost during a road trip.

13. Photos Of Your Dog

If you and your dog get separated or they become lost, having a printed photo on hand allows you to quickly organize a search party. 

A stack of printed photos won’t take up too much room but it’s a necessary car essential for dogs on the road trip. 

Conclusion: What To Bring On A Pet Road Trip

Whether you are planning a first road trip with your dog, or already have a few adventures under the belt, your trip won’t be the same without all essential dog road trip supplies.

Before you head out, make a dog road trip list and double-check whether you packed everything before you head on the road. From current ID tags and proof of vaccination to pet restraints, car seat cover, dog bed, and toys, there are a lot of things you need to think about.

Use this list of car essentials for dogs the next time you’re planning a road trip, to ensure you have everything you need close at hand. Safe travels! 

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