Traveling with Dogs: 8 Things to Pack for a Road Trip with Your Pup

8 Things to Pack for a Road Trip with Your Pup

 1. Identification tag

Before you leave, get your dog microchipped or, if he has one already, update with both the microchip registration service and your vet. Update your dog’s tags, too, and ensure collars fit well and have no tears or other damage.

2. Crate

“Even if you’re on the most pet-friendly vacation, there may be times when you have to leave your pet in the hotel room,” said Heather Hunter, AAA director of public relations and fellow pet parent. To prevent your dogs from dashing out if a maid or other member of the hotel staff opens the door, place them in a crate when you leave the room. Some hotels even have policies that require you to do so. Check with your hotel about this before you go.

3. Harness

According to a AAA survey, more than half of drivers admit to being distracted by petting their dogs, and the risk of an accident increases when you take your eyes off the road for two seconds or more. Look for harnesses that have been crash-tested.

4. Vaccination records & extra meds

Book a pre-trip appointment with the vet if your dogs are due for any vaccinations. Stock up on medications, too. Have your vet’s office give you your pets’ shot records to keep handy.

5. First-aid kit

Pack it with bandages and other essentials, such as scissors, bandages and a thermometer. (Check out How to Make a DIY First Aid Kit for Dog Travel on Also create a list of animal hospitals along your travel route and at your final destination. If any emergency occurs, you won’t have to waste time researching.

6. Bowls

Hunter uses a collapsible bowl for her trips, but feel free to bring your regular bowls or dog-friendly water bottles.

7. Extra food

“Have plenty of what they’re used to. Bring more than what you’re used to,” Hunter said. If your dog is prone to carsickness, feed him when you arrive at your destination and not before or during travel breaks.

8. Toys

Favorite toys are always great to pack, Hunter said. Little comforts of home can make your pet feel more comfortable. I bring my dogs’ favorite blanket.

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