Road Trip with Pets

5 Tips For Taking A Road Trip With Pets

Thinking about hitting the road with man’s best friend? Or are you a crazy cat person? Taking a Road Trip with Pets can be a great way to spend time with your family and create great memories. Before you get going on your trip, here are some tips we learned from our recent trip with our miniature Dachshund Franklin Von Bunn.

We did a 7 day trip from Vancouver, British Columbia to Toronto, Ontario, Canada through the northern states of the USA.

1. Plan Your Route

You want to make sure that your driving schedule allows time for regular breaks. You should make sure you are stopping every 4 hours for 15-30 mins so they can relieve themselves and experience the new exciting smells and environments. Frankie was fantastic in the car and would give us a verbal sign if it was time for us to stop. Make sure you pay attention to the road signs for Rest Areas as you may have to drive an additional 30-45 mins before you hit the next one. Every Rest Area we stopped at had dedicated areas for pets.

2. Car Safety

Just like humans, it’s important that dogs are secured safely in the car. There are a number of options you can choose from including crates, booster seats, and harnesses that click into a seat belt. For Frankie, we have a leash that attaches to his harness and clicks into the seat belt. He sat in his bed and had room to move around and get comfortable. 

3. Make Sure Your Pet Records Are Up To Date

It’s important to make sure that your pet has the most up to date vaccines. You should contact your vet and ask if there are any additional vaccinations needed at your destination. If you are travelling across International borders (US-Canada), you will need to have proof of your dog’s rabies certificate. Your vet can provide this form on request. We also carried all of Frankie’s vaccination history just in case. We were not asked to show proof when we crossed borders, but better to be safe than sorry.

4. Book Pet-Friendly Accommodation

It’s safe to assume that you will need to spend some nights on the road. It is a good idea for humans to get some rest at the end of each day, you shouldn’t forget about your pet’s comfort and sleep patterns. Not all hotels or campsites accept pets. Most hotel booking websites allow you to filter for hotels that do accept pets. Sometimes venues do not list that they accept pets on booking sites, but might have un-promoted pet policies when asked. There is usually an additional fee for pets. Check with the hotel for the current pet rate before you commit to the booking. When you are completing your booking, we recommend you note in the online booking form or call the hotel and inform them a pet will be accompanying you.

5. Pack A Bag For Your Pet

Just like us, dog’s need essential items on a road trip. By having a separate bag for your pooch, it will make it easier to access their items while on the road. Here is what we included in Frankies bag:

  • Food and water bowl
  • Water bottle and portable bowl for drinking on car stops
  • Treats and food for each night
  • Poop bags
  • Doggie first aid kit (These can be sourced from good pet stores or veterinarians)
  • Dog Bed
  • Blankets (with a familiar smell on it)
  • A favourite toy (or 2, or 10)


What tips do you have for travelling with pets? Leave them in the comments below.

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Read About Our Road Trip Adventure With Our Dog

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