We are a dog family and we love to travel. This means we pretty much insist on bringing our dogs everywhere with us, which also means we tend to drive to most destinations, no matter how far. To ensure our dogs were good travelers we began taking them on long car rides as young puppies and haven’t stopped since.
Early this year we embarked on a weeklong trip to Lake Tahoe, Nevada and for the first time ever brought all three of our dogs; two rambunctious Dobermans and a spoiled rotten Maltese. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right? Well it must have turned out all right because we recently returned from a 15-hour road trip! We know this might sound crazy, but over the miles we have complied some survival tips for traveling and road tripping with our canine companions and we’d love to share them with you.
While we don’t claim to be experts, we just have our own experience and accumulated knowledge as far as what has worked well for our pups.
5 Tips for road tripping with dogs:
1. Make the car an awesome place. Because two of our dogs are large Dobermans, they take up a lot of legroom, so in order to keep the comfy on long car rides we give them as much room as we possibly can. We pack the backseat of our SUV and give them the entire trunk area to spread out in. Stocked with comfy bedding and plenty of peanut butter stuffed bones, those two live for long car rides.
2. Stop often. When it use to be just the two of us we would get in the car and drive nearly straight through to our destination, stopping only to refuel and grab more Redbull. But now, we make sure to stop every couple hours at the most to let the dogs stretch their legs and get a good drink. While it’s not always an option, we like to try to find places where they can run off-leash for a few minutes to really burn off steam. We love our Dog Park Finder app for this.
3. Keep their same routine. No matter where we are in our travels, we always try our best to keep our dog’s feeding schedule the same. It helps to prevent uneasy tummies, and ensures they are relaxed and enjoying the trip too. Even if it means stopping on the side of a desolate road in the near darkness to let them eat at 6 p.m., well then that’s what we’ll do.
4. Bring their favorite things. Packing light only applies to people. When it comes to our dogs, we bring their travel beds so when it comes time to sleep they have a familiar place that smells like home for them to curl up. We also tend to over pack toys, but in a dog’s world I suppose there is no such thing as too many toys. And as long as the dogs are happy, that’s all that really matters.
5. We are notorious for using Dog friendly apps and websites to plan the best possible canine incorporated trips, here are some of our favorite links! There are tons of websites and apps for specific cities and even countries too, so if you're international be sure to check some of those out too.
- Doggoes has a really cool clickable map that lets you search for dog parks by region, and there's an app to go with it: Doggoes.com
- We love Bring Fido for it's easy search-ability and list of dog events taking place nationwide: BringFido.com
- Pets Welcome is great for finding pet friendly hotels and places to stay. Searchable by city, route, or even size of dog (great for large breed dog owners): PetsWelcome.com
- Go Pet Friendly has a fun interactive Facebook page, and we love to follow their traveling adventures with their two pups, Ty and Buster: GoPetFriendly.com
- Luxury Paw focuses on higher rated accommodations for traveling with your pets, for classier vacations and places to stay: LuxuryPaw.com