Road Trip With Dogs – 7 Tips to Make Your Trip Safer & Enjoyable

This post is sponsored by Everywhere Agency on behalf of Autotrader; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

A few years ago, on New Years Day, my then-boyfriend (now husband) and I brought home a tiny, fluffy and very-energetic yellow lab puppy. We named this puppy Riley and she immediately stole our bed, most of our socks and our hearts. 

Roadtripping with Dogs

Riley was our baby before the actual baby came along. She taught us so much about patience, responsibility and keeping up with something MUCH more energetic than us. She also taught us about caring for something that was solely dependent on us to fulfill it’s needs. When the Coast Guard moved us to Alaska from North Carolina, we had to plan a long road trip to get to our new home. Since we would be driving with our sweet pup, we had to make special accommodations for a road trip with dogs!

roadtripping with dogs

After we arrived to Alaska, we adopted a senior yellow lab named Lena. Lena will always be remembered as my special girl. She helped calm Riley’s separation anxiety and gave me someone to love when I was struggling with moving 5000 miles away from all of my family and friends. Lena was the missing piece to our family. We adopted her when she was almost 12 and I like to think we gave her two amazing years. Unfortunately, old age and some other health problems caused her to cross the rainbow bridge in July. 

Roadtripping with Dogs

After having a constant doggy companion for the past two years, our Riley has struggled to adjust to being an only dog-child again. Our toddler seems to keep her company, but there is nothing like having one of your own around. Now that it’s been almost two months since Lena passed away, we’re ready to open our hearts and home to another dog.

roadtripping with dogs

There is not much that is quite as rewarding as adopting a pet. Lena was in and out of the shelter a few different times over the course of her life. I remember the first time I saw her online. She had the saddest brown eyes and it absolutely broke my heart. After speaking with the local adopted, they warned us that Lena did not like other labs but we scheduled a meet and greet anyways. Riley and Lena immediately took to each other. Maybe it was the age difference (Lena was 12 and Riley was 2), the fact that they’re both females or maybe Lena was just tired of the shelter – but my two girls instantly formed a mother/daughter relationship.  Lena always seemed extra loving to our family and I like to think that she knew that we rescued her. We received so much love in return for her pet adoption. She’d humor my two-and-a-half year old as she “read” Lena books and I rarely wrote a blog without her head in my lap. She had a gentle spirit that I’m sure only comes with age but still loved to chase down animals she saw outside or on the television followed by her hoarse bark. Adopting gave our whole family so much more than we could have ever imagined. I would love nothing more than to adopt again, so we’re currently eyeing our local shelter and hoping to add to our family again soon. 

roadtripping with dogs

In honor of National Dog Day on August 26th, Autotrader is teaming up with Adopt-a-Pet, to help those who are searching for a dog to add to their family through Along with helping search for local adoptable pets, Autotrader will offer information on the best new and used pet friendly rides, must-have accessories, and tips to keep your pup safe on-the-go. 

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My family lives a very active lifestyle and our dogs almost always (literally) come along for the ride. is able to help us find the perfect dog that will fit our lifestyle, but it also helps us find the perfect car for both our dogs and our lifestyle. The Coast Guard will be moving us again at the beginning of next summer, so we’ll need to be prepared with a car that can handle our growing family and another cross-country road trip with dog in tow. 

A dog, just like anyone else in the car, has safety needs that need to be taken care of on a road trip. Luckily, is full of valuable information to help you keep the safety of your pet a priority. 

roadtripping with dogs

Make Sure Pup Has Plenty of Water. 

Just like a human, a dog can get dehydrated. When we traveled to Alaska, we kept a collapsible water bowl near Riley. When we stopped we also made sure she was drinking plenty of water. When you pick up a water bottle for yourself, make sure to grab an extra for your pup. Even when we go on trips to the local beaches or on hikes, the collapsible water bowl comes with us! These can normally fit in your bag or jacket pocket and can be a lifesaver to your pup! suggested to bring along a spill-proof bowl. These sound genius and I will definitely be checking these out for our move next summer. 

Stop Often

Just like a human, dogs can get cramps due to sitting too long. It’s important to make stops while on a road trip with dog so that they can have a bathroom break and walk around. Each morning of our road trip, we would walk Riley for a few miles before leaving our current destination. We would stop pretty often due to a very unhappy baby, but this gave Riley plenty of opportunities to get out and stretch her legs! When we reached our destination for the night, we would try to walk with Riley or find somewhere to throw her favorite ball to her. 

Dog Seat Covers 

This helpful accessory is almost as beneficial to keeping your car in shape as it is for your dog’s safety. It protects your seats from dog claws/fur while keeping your dog guarded from uncomfortable seat belts that may get in their way. We have a seat cover that we use on our seats and when we have a full car we’re able to transfer to the trunk of our SUV. 

Watch Your Pup Carefully

Did you know that dogs can get carsick just like humans? When we traveled from North Carolina to Alaska we were in the car 8+ hours a day for almost two weeks. We used a seat cover and kept our dog on the seat so that she could look out the windows. This seemed to keep her in high spirits as well! By keeping a watchful eye on your pet, you’ll be able to spot signs of unease or even sickness more quickly.

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If your pup is prone to motion sickness or you just want to be prepared, then suggests motion sickness treats. There are treats to help calm nerves and nervous stomachs or you can speak with your veterinarian. 

Pack Their Favorite Treats

No one likes being bored during a long car ride. Packing your pup’s favorite toy or favorite bone will help them work out some energy while going along for the ride. 

Always Bring a Leash

This may be common sense to some, but when you’re in an unknown place it’s even more important to say just how important it is to keep your dogs on a leash. Accidents can happen so quickly, and it’s better to be safe than sorry. 

Have a Dog Friendly Car

SUV’s and trucks are extremely dog friendly. While having a smaller car to road trip with your dog may be doable – it may not be comfortable. Are you on the market for a new car? If so, utilize for it’s amazing perks and advice for dog-friendly cars. 




  1. Amanda | 24th Aug 18

    Safety first! Love traveling with my pup… need to get a few seat covers as well

  2. aditi | 25th Aug 18

    Such a well thought of post. I dont havr a pet but this rrally made me think all about all the difficulties pet owners face.

  3. Jennifer Morrison | 25th Aug 18

    This is such a great post! I drove my daughter’s puppy from California to Ohio. I wish I had had this list before! LOL

    • Brittany | 28th Aug 18

      Sounds like a long road trip!!

  4. Dree | 26th Aug 18

    Helpful post! I have 2 pitbulls and traveling on family vacays can be such a hassle. Great tips!

    • Brittany | 28th Aug 18

      I totally get it! Thank you!

  5. Nicole Pyles | 27th Aug 18

    These are such great tips! Perfect for someone new to travelling a lot with their dog too.

    • Brittany | 28th Aug 18

      Thanks! We’ve learned a lot by traveling with our pup

  6. Evelyn Hernandez | 27th Aug 18

    Your doggies are adorable, we never travel with our pup but these are great tips.

    • Brittany | 28th Aug 18


  7. Jennifer Morrison | 28th Aug 18

    Your dogs are so beautiful! Wonderful trips! Pets are such a part of our lives.

  8. Julie I Aloha Lovely | 28th Aug 18

    We try to bring our pup with us as much as possible. Luckily Hawaii is a pretty pet-friendly place 🙂

  9. Maya | 28th Aug 18

    These are great tips for any travelling dog owner! And your pups are adorable!

    • Brittany | 29th Aug 18

      Aw, thank you!

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