Dog Road Trip Essentials

Dog Road Trip Essentials

Warmer weather means many of us are gearing up for road trips and travel adventures. Whether jumping in the car for a fun afternoon outing or an extended cross-country vacation, don’t forget about your furry friend! 

Traveling with your dog can be a rewarding experience. However, it requires some careful planning to ensure their safety and comfort throughout the journey. From packing the right supplies to planning pet-friendly stops along the way, we’ve compiled a comprehensive dog road trip essentials checklist to simplify your travel experience.

What to Pack Your Dog for a Road Trip

Here are some key items to pack for your pup to ensure safety and comfort, no matter how long you’ll be in the car. 

Safety Restraints

Just like humans, dogs need to be properly restrained in the car for their safety. Invest in a quality dog seat belt or harness to keep your pup secure during the ride.

Seat Cover

As much as we love our dogs, their hair and rough paws can do some serious damage to your car — especially when you’re on a long road trip. Invest in durable seat covers to help protect your seats, and ensure your car stays clean and tidy during the adventure. 

ID Tags

Dogs may be more likely to run and get lost when they’re in unfamiliar areas. Ensure your dog has updated identification tags with your contact information, including your cell phone number. 

Additionally, consider getting your dog microchipped if they aren't already. This provides an added layer of security in case they get lost during your trip.

Health Records

Bring along copies of your dog's health and vaccination records and make sure they’re easily accessible. Some pet-friendly hotels, rentals, or campgrounds require proof of vaccinations before allowing your dog to stay. 

Plus, it’s better to be safe than sorry. If an emergency occurs, the last thing you want to do is waste time trying to reach your vet for vital information. 

If possible, put this important information in a waterproof sleeve or pouch to avoid accidental damage. 

Recent Photographs

If you don’t already have an image gallery full of pictures of your dog on your phone, be sure to snap a few clear photographs to use in case your dog escapes or gets lost on your road trip. 

Make sure you have clear photos of their face and body to help identify your dog in an emergency. Close-up pictures of any unique markings can also be helpful. 

Food and Water Bowls

Pack collapsible food and water bowls for easy feeding on the go. These dishes can easily collapse and fit in your backpack, purse, fanny pack, luggage, or seat back pocket for easy access. 

Plus, these silicone dishes lend well to quick clean ups along the way and won’t easily crack, dent, or break like glass or ceramic. 


Bring enough of your dog's regular food to last the entire trip — plus a few days extra in case of accidental spills or unexpected trip delays. 

When in doubt, opt for more food than necessary. The last thing you want is to run out or have to change your dog’s food while on the road, leading to gastrointestinal issues like diarrhea or vomiting. 

Don’t assume you’ll be able to find a pet store or that they’ll have your dog’s brand in stock. If you do need to purchase more food during your road trip, call ahead to ensure availability and have the store set a bag or two aside for you. 


Don't forget your dog’s favorite treats to reward good behavior and keep them happy on the road.

Pack treats your dog is already used to since they may appreciate some familiarity while in a new environment. Monitor intake and avoid treats with a lot of extra fillers or added ingredients to minimize the risk of diarrhea and other digestive surprises


You never want to risk your dog going without water. Throw a few cold water bottles in your vehicle in case of an unexpected breakdown, traffic delays, spills, or other issues. 

Be sure to make plenty of stops to offer your pup a drink and make sure they’re staying hydrated. 

Maya Pet Gut Health Supplement

Even when you stick to your routine as much as possible, travel can take a toll on your dog’s gut. The stress of the trip and changes in the environment can cause digestive issues like diarrhea, vomiting, or constipation. 

Maya Pet is a unique gut health supplement to give your dog a much needed boost while you’re out on the open road. It contains 10 scientifically-chosen Smart StrainsTM of good bacteria, each with a specific role to help boost digestion, immune function, and overall health. 

Unlike a lot of other pet probiotics on the market today, it doesn’t contain artificial ingredients or flavoring that can actually make digestive issues worse for your pet. The powder can easily be mixed with your dog’s normal food, providing extra support on a daily basis. 

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Leash and Harness

Even if your dog is well-behaved off-leash, it's essential to have a sturdy leash and harness for rest stops and potty breaks. This ensures their safety and prevents them from running off in unfamiliar environments.

Comfort Items

Bring along familiar items from home, such as their favorite blanket or toy, to help your dog feel more comfortable during the journey. Having familiar scents can ease any anxiety they may experience while traveling.

First Aid Kit

It's better to be prepared for minor injuries or illnesses that may occur while on the road. A pet-specific first aid kit can come in handy in unexpected ways. 

The kit should contain essentials like bandages, antiseptic wipes, tweezers, ice packs, pet ointment, and any medications your dog may need. 

Waste Bags and Cleaning Supplies

Be a responsible pet owner by cleaning up after your dog. Be sure to pack plenty of waste bags and cleaning supplies, including stain removers and towels to clean up accidents.

You may also want to invest in a dog waste container for your car. These handy containers help control smell and potential leaks if a trash bin isn’t immediately accessible.

Grooming supplies

You never know what your dog may get into or what Mother Nature has in store. Throw a dog brush, comb, shampoo, and towels in your bag so you can keep your dog clean and stylish during your trip. 

Rain, snow, dirt, and mud can easily matt your dog’s fur or cause unpleasant odors in your car. Having your grooming necessities handy means you’re ready to give your dog a quick bath or brushing as needed. 


You’ll want a safe place for your dog when you stop at your pet-friendly hotel, campsite, or rental. Since your dog isn’t used to the space, these crates can give everyone a bit of peace of mind when sleeping, eating, or otherwise occupied. 

Be sure to add a fluffy dog bed or crate pad in there for maximum comfort! 

Other Dog Travel Tips

Now that you’ve packed all your dog’s favorite things for the road trip, here are a few other important tips to remember before heading out. 

Plan Pet-Friendly Stops

Research pet-friendly attractions, parks, and accommodations along your route to make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise and socialization during the trip. Many hotels, restaurants, and parks welcome furry guests, but it's always best to call ahead to confirm their pet policies.

Take Regular Breaks

Dogs need frequent breaks to stretch their legs, relieve themselves, and burn off energy. Plan to stop every few hours to give your dog a chance to explore and get some exercise.

Practice Short Drives

If your dog isn't accustomed to long car rides, it’s a good idea to take shorter trips leading up to the road trip to help them acclimate. This can help reduce anxiety and motion sickness.

Beware of Hot Temperatures

Be mindful of the temperature inside the car, especially during hot weather. Never leave your dog unattended in a parked car, as temperatures can become dangerously high in seconds. This can lead to heatstroke or worse for your pup. 

Secure Windows and Doors

Use child safety locks to prevent your dog from accidentally opening them while the car is in motion. Even if it’s never been an issue before, it’s better to be safe than sorry. 

Know Your Route

Keep a list of emergency vet clinics and animal hospitals along your route in case of any medical emergencies. Knowing where to turn for help can provide peace of mind in stressful situations.

Enjoy the Journey

Above all, enjoy the journey with your furry companion. With a little planning and these dog essentials for road trips, you and your pup are ready for the adventure of a lifetime. Happy travels

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