Road Tripping: Safe and Comfortable Travel with Your Four-Legged Friend

Travel adventures are always more fun with your BFF. But when your BFF has four legs instead of two, a road trip may seem daunting. Traveling with your dog doesn’t have to be unsafe or inconvenient. Here’s how to ensure a safe and comfortable trip for your four-legged friend.

Take Your Pet to the Vet Before Traveling

You’ll want to make sure that your pet is healthy and up-to-date on vaccinations before traveling, so a trip to the vet is in order. If your pet is likely to be around other animals at your destination, it’s a good idea to ask for a kennel cough (Bordetella) vaccine. This vaccine is also required by many boarding kennels and dog sitters, so if there’s even a slight chance that you may have to enlist the services of a boarding kennel or doggy daycare service while you’re away, you’ll be prepared.

Don’t Feed Your Dog Before a Lengthy Car Ride

Dogs are prone to motion sickness, so filling up your pup’s belly right before heading out on the road can lead to a smelly mess if your dog gets sick. Plus, a full belly means that your dog will need to relieve himself sooner rather than later, making it necessary for you to find a pit stop with a grassy area so that your pup can find the perfect spot to do his business.

Take Comfort Items to Reduce Anxiety

If your dog isn’t used to being in the car, he may experience anxiety during the trip. Taking some comfort items, such as a favorite stuffed animal, toy, or bone, can provide some entertainment for the trip and ease your dog’s nerves. If your dog is prone to anxiety in unfamiliar or stressful situations, try using a ThunderShirt to help her relax.

Use Safety Measures for Car Travel

Some pet parents crate their pets for long car rides to prevent them from moving freely around inside the vehicle, which can be dangerous for both people and pets. An alternative to crating your dog is a dog seat belt, which keeps your pet restrained so that they aren’t a distraction for the driver and also prevents your dog from becoming a projectile in the event of an accident.

Book Pet-Friendly Hotels

For long road trips, you might want to book a hotel room for a night to get some rest partway to your destination. Not all hotels have pet-friendly accommodations, so this requires a bit of preemptive research. Some hotels offer pet-friendly rooms for an additional fee. Some websites, such as and Pet Friendly Hotels, make it easy to find pet-friendly hotels, restaurants, and more near you.

Follow the Rules for Air Travel

The rules are a bit different for pets traveling by air. In some cases, your dog can fly with you in the cabin, while other airlines may prohibit pets in the cabin outside of therapy animals and service dogs. Find out what your airline’s rules are ahead of time to avoid surprises at the gate. Some airlines have size, age, and breed restrictions on which pets are permitted in the cabin, and all airlines will require a health certificate, particularly for international flights.

You don’t have to leave your best friend behind for your next adventure, provided you’re prepared to do the legwork to ensure that your pet is healthy enough for travel, taking steps to ensure your pet’s safety on the road or in the skies, and finding accommodations that are pet-friendly. After you take these precautions, you and your dog are prepared to enjoy the travel adventure of a lifetime.

About the Author

Jessica is a dog lover and creator of, which highlights photos of our furry pals!



Image via Pixabay by AndreaHegel














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