Embarking on road trips with dogs can be an unforgettable adventure. Whether you’re exploring scenic landscapes, visiting friends and family, or simply enjoying the open road, traveling with your dog adds an extra level of excitement and companionship to the journey. Now is the perfect time to plan that epic road trip and create lasting memories with your four-legged friend.

Traveling with dogs offers the freedom to choose your own destinations, stop at pet-friendly attractions, and discover new places together. From breathtaking national parks to charming pet-friendly accommodations, there are endless possibilities for creating a memorable experience for both you and your dog. 

Benefits of Road Trips with Dogs

Traveling with your dog can bring a host of benefits and enrich both your life and your pet. Imagine this, the lifespan of a dog is only 10-15 years. Would you rather spend these years at home or start an adventure together? Well, it’s nice to travel with a loyal friend as a companion – your dog. The following are some benefits of road-tripping with your dog.

  • Companionship. Dogs are loyal and loving companions, and having them by your side during your travels provides comfort and emotional support. Their presence can help alleviate feelings of loneliness and enhance your overall travel experience.
  • Bonding. Traveling with your dog strengthens the bond between you and your furry friend. Exploring new places, sharing adventures, and spending quality time together create lasting memories and deepen your connection.
  • Stress Relief. Dogs have a natural ability to reduce stress levels and bring a sense of calmness. Having your dog with you while traveling can help alleviate travel-related anxieties and provide a soothing presence during unfamiliar situations.
  • Increased Outdoor Activities. Traveling with your dog encourages you to engage in outdoor activities. From scenic hikes to leisurely walks on the beach, having a canine companion motivates you to explore nature and enjoy the great outdoors.
  • Social Connections. Dogs are fantastic icebreakers and can facilitate social interactions with fellow travelers or locals. Their presence often sparks conversations and allows you to connect with other dog lovers, creating memorable encounters along the way.
  • Discovering Pet-Friendly Places. Traveling with a dog opens up a whole new world of pet-friendly destinations and accommodations. From dog-friendly hotels to parks, beaches, and restaurants that welcome four-legged guests, you’ll have the opportunity to explore places specifically designed to cater to dogs and their owners.
  • Exercise and Adventure. Dogs thrive on physical activity, and traveling provides ample opportunities for exercise and adventure. Whether it’s exploring nature trails, playing on the beach, or embarking on outdoor excursions, your dog will relish the chance to stay active and engaged.
  • Learning and Growth. Traveling with your dog exposes both of you to new experiences, cultures, and environments. It broadens your perspectives, encourages adaptability, and fosters a sense of curiosity and exploration.
Dog travel by car during sunny summer day. Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrieverlooking at camera and enjoying road trip.

Planning a Dog-Friendly Road Trip

Dog friendly road trips can be fun when you plan in advance. So, we have made some road trip tips for dogs.

Check with your veterinarian if you can take your dog. Ask about the maximum travel hours that your dog can tackle and whether it is safe for its current condition.

– Familiarize your dog with your car. Take short trips and gradually increase them to acclimate your dog to the journey.

Pay attention to your dog’s behavior and well-being throughout the trip. Monitor their comfort, stress levels, and appetite. If necessary, make adjustments to ensure their safety and happiness.

Plan pet-friendly destinations. Research and book pet-friendly accommodations in advance. Look for hotels, campgrounds, or vacation rentals that welcome dogs and offer suitable amenities.

Plan regular rest stops during your journey. It will allow your dog to stretch their legs, relieve themselves, and stay hydrated. Look for pet-friendly parks or rest areas along your route.

Look for dog-friendly attractions, parks, and trails at your destination. Plan activities that cater to both your interests and your dog’s needs.

List all the things you need to bring during your trip and make sure you don’t skip anything such as the following:

  • Calming meds for dog anxiety
  • Comforter, pillow, or blanket
  • Crate or carrier
  • Food & water
  • Collapsible water bowls
  • Medications
  • Lash and collar
  • Bedding
  • Toys and chews
  • Grooming supplies
  • Vaccination and health records
  • Towels
  • Extra supplies
  • Travel documentations
  • First aid kits

On the Road: Tips for a Smooth Journey

  • Ensure your dog is comfortable during the journey. Provide a cozy blanket or bed for them to relax, and maintain a comfortable temperature inside the vehicle. Consider playing calming music to help soothe any anxiety or restlessness.
  • Take frequent breaks and check on your dog. Spot signs of exhaustion, anxiety, or discomfort. 
  • Make sure your dog is hydrated. Give him treats and let him drink water. 
  • Give your dog a natural remedy such as a calming balm or mint if he experiences car sickness. 
  • Use a harness, seat belt, or travel crate to restrain your dog, preventing them from roaming freely or being injured in case of sudden stops or accidents.
  • Pat your dog and reassure him that you are both safe. 
  • Avoid too much honking as it can irritate your dog. Also, do not go on roads with too much traffic.

Dog-Friendly Destinations and Activities 

Dog-friendly road trips should include destinations that are safe and enjoyable for your furry friend such as the following:

Dog-Friendly Parks. Many cities and towns have dedicated dog parks where your pup can socialize, run off-leash, and enjoy playtime with other dogs. These parks typically provide fenced areas, water stations, and waste disposal facilities. Some even have agility equipment for extra fun.

Hiking Trails. If you and your dog enjoy the great outdoors, look for dog-friendly hiking trails in national parks, state parks, or local nature reserves. Trails that allow dogs on a leash offer beautiful scenery, fresh air, and opportunities for exercise and exploration in nature.

Beaches. Coastal destinations often have dog-friendly beaches where your pup can frolic in the sand, play in the water, and enjoy the ocean breeze. Check the specific beach regulations, as some may have designated off-leash areas or certain hours when dogs are allowed.

Outdoor Cafes and Restaurants. Many cities have outdoor cafes and restaurants that welcome dogs in their outdoor seating areas. This allows you to enjoy a meal or a coffee while your dog relaxes by your side. Make sure to check the restaurant’s pet policy before visiting.

Dog-Friendly Accommodations. When choosing accommodations, look for hotels, resorts, or vacation rentals that specifically cater to dog owners. These establishments often provide amenities like dog beds, food bowls, and even pet-friendly services such as grooming or dog sitting.

Wineries and Breweries. Some wineries and breweries have dog-friendly outdoor spaces where you can enjoy tastings or tours with your furry friend. It’s a unique way to experience local beverages while exploring new places.

Outdoor Events and Festivals. Check local event calendars for dog-friendly outdoor events and festivals. Many communities host pet parades, dog shows, charity walks, or even dog-friendly movie nights. These events offer entertainment and socialization opportunities for both you and your dog.

small dog breeds Jack Russell Terrier rides in a car leaning out of the window on a summer day


Road trips with dogs can be a fun experience. Just remember to prioritize your dog’s safety, comfort, and well-being throughout the trip. Pack all the necessary supplies, plan your route, and make reservations in dog-friendly accommodations. Take breaks, provide exercise and bathroom breaks for your dog, and never leave them unattended in a parked car. Also, familiarize yourself with local rules and regulations regarding dogs in different areas, such as leash laws and pet policies.

By following these tips and being well-prepared, you can create lasting memories with your dog and make your road trip a wonderful experience for both of you. Enjoy the open road, explore new destinations, and cherish the special moments shared with your loyal companion. Safe travels and happy adventures!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I leave my dog alone in the hotel?

 It depends on the hotel’s policy. In most cases, hotels don’t allow dogs to be left alone in the room for safety reasons. But if you have schedules to go by yourself and need to leave your dog somehow, you must find a hotel with a dog care service or grooming service, where you can leave your dog safely. 

What should I do if my dog gets car sick?

If your dog gets car sick, you may need to take a break. Pull over to the nearest dog-friendly hotel where you can take a risk. If your vet has prescribed a medicine, you can give it to your dog. 

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