May 21, 2013

road trips with a pup

The bf will be driving both of our pups from San Francisco to Portland this weekend to join me at my cousins wedding and to visit his family. Unfortunately (or fortunately?) my mom booked my flight with hers online months before the bf planned to come along and the cancellation fee is almost as much as the ticket so I will not be joining him.

Even though I am not going on this road trip I wanted to offer my tips on traveling with a pup since I have done it before and I am sure others will be bringing their pups along on vacation this summer.

Here are a few of the things I have learned to do:

1. Exhaust your pup. Take your dog on the longest walk possible before you leave. Seriously. The last thing you want is an anxious/excited/energetic dog sitting with you in the car for hours on end. Not only is it stressful for you but your dog will be stressed out too.

2. Bring lots of chewies. To keep your dog tired and entertained buy a lot of chew toys before the trip. I usually go to Pet Food Express because they have sales like buy 3 get 1 free. On my last trip from SF to LA I bought 4 pigs ears and 4 new bully sticks and that amount lasted Reggie the whole trip. You don't want to run out though so make sure to buy enough for your dog.

3. Toys! Buy a few new toys for the trip and bring your dogs old favorites. This way they feel comfortable and have something to look forward to on the trip. This is also important when you reach your destination so they feel more at home.

4. Bring the bed. Whatever your dog sleeps on/in bring it with you on the trip. Again, you want your dog to feel comfortable in the car and they like what is familiar to them. This is also good to get them to sleep in new places.

5. Pack water and food. Bring 2-3 bottles of water and a bowl for your dog to drink when he gets thirsty. Reggie gets really thirsty when he chews on pig's ears so I am constantly filling up his bowl in the car to keep him hydrated. Whenever you run out of water stop at a fast food place or gas station and make sure you refill old water bottles.

6. Take lots of breaks. Reggie tends to get a little anxious in the car about every two hours. The best advice I have is to stop when your dog starts pacing, breathing heavy, or gets anxious and take a 5 minute break. Walk them around outside, give them some water and a small amount of food. Even a quick break will help rejuvenate your dog and get them to calm down.

7. NEVER leave your dog in the car for extended time. I found this chart the other day that tells you how hot your car gets with the different temperatures outside. Your dog could die of heat exhaustion especially in the summer so it is best to bring them with you when you leave the car.

8. Safety first. Make sure your dog is safe inside of your vehicle. You can read online the safest ways to travel with your dog. Also, research about your dogs breed and the location you are going. Do you need to take extra precautions because you have a frenchie that overheats easily? Are you going to an area with a lot of fox-tails? Look up the local vet where you will be staying in case something happens. Reggie got into a bottle of baby aspirin my grandma dropped on the floor the last trip we took him on. He was okay but I had a hard time finding a local vet that was open.

9. Dog friendly places. There are a lot of great websites that offer dog friendly places while traveling. My favorite is It is good to do your research ahead of time so you know where you can stay and what activities are dog friendly.

10. Have fun with your pup!!!


  1. Wow, those dogs are adorable. When I travel I can't really afford to leave my dog, that is why i always carry her with me. I have a 1 year old Yorkshire terrier which is so cute and I just can't leave her alone in the house. Now, me and my boyfriend are planning for an out of town travel and I am glad to have found this article with great tips and advices. I will take note all these and will pretty sure buy a lot of those chewy stuffs she love. Thanks for posting this! -

    1. I'm the same way, dog hotels/sitters are so expensive! Good luck on your travels and let me know if you want to add any other tips to this list when you get back.