When taking a family road trip, it’s hard to leave behind our fur babies. And for many of us, it’s hard to find a pet-sitter during the summer months. That’s why we’ve assembled a list of tips so you can bring your dog along for the ride.
Preparing for a road trip with your dog
Give your vet a call and make sure your dog is up to date on vaccinations. You may also want to consider having your pet micro-chipped. Travel can cause anxiety for some pets and increase the likelihood that they’ll run away. It’s always best to play it safe.
Update tags with your current phone number and other contact information.
“Insure” they’re covered in case of an accident while you’re on the road. Call your pet insurance provider to clarify what is covered in your pet’s policy. If you’re in need of pet insurance, find out more: Pet Insurance
Look up dog-friendly places
Research hotels before you leave. Some hotels do allow pets, but it’s important to call ahead and clarify their policies. Here are a few questions you should ask:
- Does the hotel have weight/breed restrictions?
- Will you be charged additional pet fees?
- Where is my dog allowed to roam in the hotel?
Check for pet friendly car rental. Many avid road trippers opt to rent a car, rather than putting miles on their personal vehicle. And good news for pet owners, some car rental companies allow dogs. Hertz will even prepare the vehicle for your pet if you make your reservation 24 hours in advance! Learn more about Hertz’s rental car pet policy.
Look for trails or parks as you’re planning your road trip. If Fido is coming along for the ride, you might as well look for some pet friendly destinations. Many national parks allow pets in developed areas and the experience would be fun for both of you.
What should you bring on a road trip with your dog?
Load up on car snacks for both you and your furry companion. Bring extra food, treats and their water bowl. And just in case they eat a little too much, bring wipes and doggie bags for easy clean up.
Contain the beast while you’re driving in either a harness or a carrier. It’s safer for your pet and less distracting for you.
How often should you stop on a road trip with a dog?
Plan walking breaks so your dog can stretch his four legs. On average, dogs need to relieve themselves three to five times a day, however remaining cooped up inside a vehicle may call for additional stops. We recommend stopping every two hours—it will help keep him calm throughout the ride and is a good excuse for you to take a break from driving.
Need more help planning your road trip with your furry friend?
Whether you’re planning a weekend getaway or a cross-country ride, AAA can help plan the journey and ensure that you and your pets travel safely. Schedule an appointment with an agent or check out our online TripTiks® and AAA Tourbook® Guides to inspire your road trip.
Updated 5/10/23. Originally published 7/8/20.