How to go on a Road Trip with Your Pet

When you're hitting the road with your furry best friend, you might worry how that long distance road trip might effect them. We’ve compiled a checklist for some helpful things to remember when bringing your buddy along.

  1. Things To Remember To Bring - Be sure to bring all the food that your pet will need for the duration for the trip. This may be a little stressful for them and switching out their food may upset their stomach even more. Also, remember to bring enough water for the length of the drive. You’ll need bowls for the water and food, so be sure to pack those away, too. If you’re traveling with a dog, grab a few extra of those poop bags because you can never have too many. If your cat is coming along for the ride, remember to bring their litter box. A few extra blankets and toys may be good as well to help reduce their stress and give them something familiar from home.

  2. Identification - Going on trips away from home, it’s good to make sure that your pet’s tags are current and up-to-date. Be sure your pet is wearing a collar the entirety of the trip with the correct contact information for you. Carry around a photo of them with you as an extra precaution, also. Should anything go wrong, having a recent photo will help others identify your loved one.

  3. Carriers/Crates - When driving with your pets, the best place for them to be is in a carrier. This helps keep them from distracting the driver and keeps them safest if an accident occurs. A good rule for choosing a crate or carrier is giving them enough room to stand up and turn around in, but not so much that they may slide around during driving. Double check that the carrier is secured and fastened so it doesn’t dance around while you’re driving. If you have this trip planned with enough time, familiarize your buddy with the crate that they’ll be in beforehand. Put their food in there from time to time. Try taking small trips around the community with them so they learn that traveling doesn’t have to be a stressful thing. We also understand that some of our pets are a bit too large for a crate to fit in our cars. Barriers can work well also, just be sure that when choosing a barrier, it will fit securely into your vehicle and can handle the weight of your larger pup.

  4. Frequent Stops - Though we may be ready to hit the road and power through, our pets may not feel the same way. Traveling with a doggo is very similar to traveling with a kiddo. You’ll want to stop every few hours to give them a chance to let out some of that pent up energy and go to the bathroom. It’ll make your drive a lot less stressful, also. If your best bud is a feline, they should be okay in their carrier for shorter drives under 6 hours, just give them a comfortable pillow in their carrier. If you’re traveling for longer, let them out of the carrier to stretch within the car (while the car is parked). Give them some water and a chance to use the litter box. Bringing a small litter box that you can clean or dump right afterwards will be easier to manage.

  5. Feeding on the Road - It’s best to keep feeding to a minimum while driving. Feed your loved ones 2-3 hours before leaving so they have time to digest their food. They will also be just fine waiting a little longer to get their dinner. Your pets can be like a lot of us humans and get car sick during drives. If that’s the case, try holding out on feeding your pet until you’ve arrived. Giving them too much water may also be hard on them if they don’t handle traveling well. Ice cubes are a good remedy for keeping them cool and hydrated without filling their stomachs too much.

  6. Talk to Your Vet - The last little bit of advice we have is to talk to your vet before leaving. They know your pet and how they handle stress. Simply getting the “OK” from your vet can be a huge relief on you and make sure that you can have the absolute best time with your best friend.

When bringing your pet on a road trip the main thing to remember is to give them extra love and attention. Food, water, exercise, and access to the bathroom is all the normal stuff they need, it’s just executed a little differently when driving. So take that trip to Aspen, or go even further to Mesa Verde, and don’t be afraid to bring your best bud to show them the world a bit.


Photo by Tadeusz Lakota on Unsplash