Dogs make great companions and going on a road trip or vacation with your dog can make it that much more fun. Your dog won’t have to stay with strangers or miss you. You’ll want to make sure your dog is comfortable to ensure that your trip goes as smoothly as possible.

Make Sure Vaccines are up to Date

Before you go on your road trip, take your dog for a visit to the vet. Let your vet know where you are going and what you will be doing with your dog. They can make sure that they have the needed vaccines. Sometimes when travelling to certain areas your vet may recommend certain vaccines. Also be sure and get a copy of your dog’s medical records and take along any medications if the’re on any.

dog getting ready for a road trip

Plan Your Route

Along your route you’ll want to stop at once every 4 hours for your dog to stretch and use the bathroom. Look for rest stops or other dog friendly areas along the way. And be sure and feed your pet 3-4 hours before you leave, feeding them right before you leave can lead to car sickness.

Look for Pet Friendly Accommodations

You can find pet friendly accommodations wherever you are going. You can use a website like Bring Fido or Dog Friendly to find dog friendly hotels, restaurants, activities, stores, and other areas.

Know the Rules of the Area

Be sure and look up the laws and regulations of the area you will be vacationing in. Look up leash laws in cities and some places have laws against leaving your dog in the car for a certain period of time. If you plan on visiting some national parks, keep in mind that dogs are not allowed on any hiking trails and must keep to the campsites, parking lots, or other designated areas. If you do want to do some hiking with your dog, look for some public lands owned by the Bureau of Land Management, national forests, and state parks. Many times these areas are very close to national parks, have less people, and sometimes they even have better views!

dog on a rocky hiking trail in the mountains

Update Your Dog’s ID

Since your dog will be in an unfamiliar area, you definitely need to be sure that your dog has the proper tags and identification. Make sure your contact information on the tag is up to date. Micro chipping your dog is a good idea, if their collar comes off, they can still be identified and you can be contacted. You might also consider investing in a GPS tracker for your dog. This allows you to find them quickly if they happen to wander off.

Keep Your Routine

A new area can be both exciting and a little scary for your pet. If you have a certain routine, try to stick to it as much as possible. Feed and walk your dog at the same times. Just try to keep things normal for them. Bring a favorite toy, blanket, or dog bed.

Arrange for Dog Care if Needed

Upon arriving at your destination you may find that you want to go somewhere or do something where dogs may not be allowed. If you look up some places that offer boarding or dog care ahead of time, you can have a backup just in case.


Have fun on your road trips and vacations this spring and summer! If you need dent repair, window tinting, or other services, be sure and contact us!