Road Trip!

This forum is dedicated to places that people and dogs can enjoy together. If you want to travel, sight-see, or just go around town with your pooch, then you've come to the right place! Don't forget to plan a visit to Dogster's Pet-Friendly Travel Area! Book travel and support Dogster.


king of the- castle
Barked: Thu Jul 21, '11 3:59pm PST 
So i haven't been on this form in FOREVER. I have a question though. I am taking my 2 year old sawyer on a road trip next week. he's never been on a long road trip. Just car rides around town, which he does fine with. Any tips for me?

Barked: Fri Jul 22, '11 1:42am PST 
Make sure he's got a safe place where he rides, like in a crate or is belted in place with a harness. There are some specially made harnesses for car rides that you can buy if you don't have a crate. And make sure that if he's in a crate it's very secure and doesn't budge if you slam against it. Having a dog loose in the car isn't really a good idea on a long drive, any drive really, but the longer ones you tend to be moving faster and if something happens it's best to have them secured.

Bring things for him to play with or chews so he doesn't get super bored. Just none that squeak if that sound drives you crazy.

Always have water handy. Not necessarily in the car but every time you stop, even if only for a few minutes, pour a bowl of water and give him the opportunity to drink.

Make lots of stops. Every time you get out he gets out too and not just to go to the bathroom. He'll have tons of extra energy he needs to burn off so schedule in longer than normal breaks so he can walk around with you.

If you are stopping for the night somewhere make sure the hotel/campsite/whatever is pet friendly and call ahead to be sure even if the add says so. Motel 6 allows pets so they are a backup if your planned place falls through.

Have an extra leash and collar and make sure that he knows to only jump out of the car when you tell him. Dogs who leap out of the car before the leash is attached can be hard to catch in an unfamiliar or frightening place.

Feeding him after the days drive is done is better than before if he gets carsick.

That's basically what I did when I drove from St. Louis to Southern Oregon in February. Took three days of near-constant driving but if I didn't stop every couple hours and walk around Conker would have destroyed my Jeep.

Edited by author Fri Jul 22, '11 1:44am PST


king of the- castle
Barked: Fri Jul 22, '11 6:18am PST 
Yep I have a harness for him and we're staying at a pet friendly hotel so thats set. smile thanks for the tips smile i'm going to make a special trip to walmart today to get some new toys he wont get until we're on the road . smile

Bruno CGC

Honorary Kelpie
Barked: Fri Jul 22, '11 9:20am PST 
With Ginger I took her from Colorado to New Mexico to Arizona to California and then Oregon. With Bruno I took him from Tucson AZ to Portland OR in three days, we got a ride with a long-haul trucker. (Next time I am adopting a local dog!)

They both pretty much slept the whole way. One thing I have to mention, is if the dog has any tendency towards car sickness, they might not want to eat, especially right after getting out of the vehicle. Bruno developed an aversion to his kibble, I had to switch brands when we arrived because he wouldn't eat the old one anymore. And of course be very careful opening the car doors, at one stop with Ginger she jumped out at a gas station and refused to get back in, running around the block like it was a game! I had to coax and then grab her and make her get in, which wasn't fun. Luckily it was a small town stop and there was hardly any traffic.

Make sure your dog has good identification if they get lost. NOTHING feels worse that having a dog run off in a strange place, and then having to leave without them because you're far from home and on a schedule. That happened with Ginger in New Mexico. Good thing my cell number was on her collar, if it was only my home number her finder wouldn't have reached me! Make sure the ID is up to date, and preferably microchip the dog too in case they lose the collar.
Tanuk CGC

Sherpa Tanuk of- Everest
Barked: Tue Jul 26, '11 6:09pm PST 
I found that a new bacon or chocolate flavored Nylabone does wonders. The bully sticks and antlers I'd be afraid to give on a car ride. Typically Tanuk stares out the back window like a creeper the whole time and totally wears himself out doing that.

We try to stop every few hours to stretch everyone's legs out. We look for gas stations or rest stops that have large grassy areas. We take the long 20ft leash so Tanuk can really get out and romp and play ball or whatever for a bit.