Taking a Road Trip With Your Dog? Top 10 Travel Essentials

COVID-19 restrictions are easing and many need to just get out. But a lot of people are foregoing travel by plane to instead hit the road. And among those, there are quite a few wanting to bring their dogs with them. Why not? They’re part of the fam too. So, if you’re one of those looking to take a road trip with Rocky, here’s some travel gear and tips compiled by Business Insider for a safe journey for you and him (or her).

1. Crash-Tested Kennel

$250-$1,200

Crash-tested dog kennel
Crash-tested dog kennel | Chewy

RELATED: 12 Outstanding Cars Designed for Dogs and Their Humans

Many consider using your plastic crate lashed in with a seat belt. The problem is, in a crash the plastic is no match for the force of a crash and the weight of your dog. Fracturing in an accident won’t be good for Fido. What you need is a crash-test-certified crate. This way if you are unfortunate to end up in a crash your dog has the best chance of survival. There is a Center for Pet Safety list of certified crates. A hidden advantage is that a crate can sometimes help with a dog’s motion sickness. 

2. Crash-Tested Harness

$30-$185

dog in car
Crash-tested dog harness | Chewy

You’ve got your dog covered in case of an accident while they are crated. But what about those never trained with a crate? A certified travel harness helps to keep your dog safe in your vehicle. With built-in loops, it attaches to the seat belts in your back seat. So it’s both easy and safe.

3. Hammock Seat Cover

$20-$185

Dog travel hammock
Dog travel hammock | Chewy

If your dog is hiking with you, and we’d recommend not leaving him or her behind, they’re going to get dirty. And even if they’re squeaky clean they probably shed. A water-resistant seat cover saves your car and makes cleanup a lot simpler. If you choose one like the Orvis covers they cover the back seat and then attach to the seatbacks. It adds a layer of protection in case of a front-end collision. 

4. Pet Ramp For Older Dogs

$50-$160

Foldable dog ramp | Chewy
Foldable dog ramp | Chewy

If your dog’s ability to get around is a bit limited from age or handicap they should still come along. Get a dog ramp that folds for easy storage. This way you’re not muscling your dog in and out of the vehicle. 

5. Pet First Aid Kit

$20-$300

Pet first aid kit
Pet first aid kit | Chewy

Things can happen when your dog is in the wild. From ticks to encounters with thorns, having a dog-specific first aid kit is a smart addition to your pet trip supplies. The Red Cross also has a pet first aid app that can help with suggestions in case of more involved injuries. 

6. Window Sun Shades

$10-$30

Baby sun shade
Baby sun shade |Buy Buy Baby

You’ll probably have air conditioning. Still, screening harsh sunlight with a baby shade while you’re mobile is better for your dog and keeps temperatures cooler. That way your air conditioner has to work less, too. But don’t rely on it if you decide to park. You shouldn’t keep a dog in a car even with the windows down. 

7. Traveling Dog Bowl

$10-$50

Travel dog bowl
Travel dog bowl | Chewy

There are special dog bowls designed to minimize spilling. Like a plastic jug with a built-in bowl, a reservoir fills with water when tipped on its side. Flip it back up and the water drains back into the jug. Most of these portable pet bowls hold up to three quarts of water. 

8. Kongs or Treat Toys

$10-$60

Dog Kong | Chewy
Dog Kong | Chewy

The open road can be a bit boring for a dog. During long periods of travel, a Kong or doggie puzzle can stimulate your dog. Stuffing them with peanut butter or treats makes for a boredom-free interlude. 

9. Doggie Backpack

$28-$70

Dog back pack
Dog back pack | Chewy

These doggie backpacks work the same as your own. Why not get a bit of help from the wee ones? The weight of the load should be below 25% of the dog’s body weight. 

10. Long Leash

$12-up

Long dog leash
Long dog leash | Chewy

Give your dog some room to roam the campsite with a longer 15-25-foot long line or leash.