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How to Plan a Dog Friendly Road Trip | ShearComfort

2024 Jan 30th

How to Plan a Dog Friendly Road Trip | ShearComfort

How to Plan a Dog-Friendly Road Trip - Pet Road Trip Tips

So, you want to take your dog on a road trip. You might be surprised to know that according to research from Go Pet Friendly, over 63 percent of those traveling will be taking a dog road trip in their cars sometime within the next year. When taking your furry friend with you, know your pet friendly travel options in advance and plan to take some dog road trip essentials with you.

To help you plan your dog road trip, we’ve put together some tips for taking road trips with dogs, so you will be prepared and can enjoy your trip without worrying about your pet.

Here are some things to do before you take your dog road trip:

The Unique Needs of Traveling With a Pet

Traveling with pets presents some unique conditions. Here are some suggestions to help make the trip better for all:

Travel crates – If your pet is not used to a travel crate, get them accustomed to being crated before you leave.

ID and Vet Certificates – Carry your pet’s shot records, chip numbers, health certificate, and other documentation in their travel bag.

Regular breaks – If you’re driving, give yourself extra time because pets need to stretch their legs and go to the bathroom more often than you might. Older dogs and puppies need more breaks.

Temperature – Be aware of the outside temperature and never leave your pet in a hot car. Also, hot concrete is hard on the pads of their feet, so keep them in the grass.

Pre-Trip Preparations

Before you leave your home, make sure that your pet is ready to go by doing the following:

  • Vet check-up to ensure your pet can travel
  • Update all dog tags and register your chips
  • Plan for emergencies by having a dog first aid kit handy
  • Refill your pet’s medications

Pack your pet a travel bag so everything is in one place.

Choosing the Right Accessories for Your Vehicle

Before hitting the road, ensure your vehicle is equipped with the right accessories to make the trip comfortable for your dog while protecting your car’s interior. Here are some pet friendly travel options:

Atomic and Camo Universal Pet Seat Covers

This seat cover offers the highest protection through affordable, waterproof materials. It is a universal fit that goes over your seat covers or original seats and is constructed of 600 Denier Polyester with DWR top coat and PVC undercoat. It is UV-treated, abrasion- and tear-resistant—everything you need to protect your seats and travel with your pet.

Pro-Tect Vinyl Seat Covers

These vinyl seat covers are heavy-duty, dog-friendly, and stain-resistant; they also wipe clean with a soft cloth. Since they’re custom-made, they will be an exact fit for your vehicle. Choose from several colors.

CORDURA® 1000 Denier Xtra-Duty Seat Covers

For something a little fancier, these CORDURA® 1000 Denier Xtra-Duty Seat Covers are perfect for you and your pet to ride comfortably. They are tear-resistant, waterproof, easy to clean, and comfortable. Custom fit means a snug, smooth fit.

DuraClear Vinyl Floor Mats

Don’t forget to protect your floors and original carpet from pets, too. Custom DuraClear Vinyl Floor Mats are custom-cut to fit your vehicle’s floors and cargo space. These mats are easy to clean and tough enough to stand up to dog toenails. Keep your carpet safe from dog messes, mud, dirt, and anything else that could ruin your carpet.

ShearComfort seat covers will protect your vehicle from damage that toenails and teeth can do to upholstery. Their custom seat covers are specifically designed to fit your car, including its contours, airbags, and heated seats. They offer a 2-Year Risk-Free Warranty against defects in workmanship and materials. ShearComfort offers a large selection of accessories like dash covers, sun visors, steering wheel covers, sheepskin seat belt pads, and more.

In addition to protecting your seats, you want to protect your pet. Here are some dog road trip essentials for traveling pups:

  • Dog harness
  • Seat belt restraint for your pet
  • Medical kit
  • Well ventilated carrier

Setting Up Your Car for Your Dog’s Comfort

In order to get ready for your road trips with your dogs, you’ll need to set up your vehicle to meet your dog’s needs.

  • Decide where your pup will ride. Some dogs prefer to sit in the seat, and others should be crated, especially if they are restless. If you’re using a crate, make sure it is secure.
  • Add a dog seat or seat belts for your dog.
  • Add comfortable and familiar bedding to the seat or crate.
  • Control the temperature in the area where your dog will be traveling.
  • Window shades will help keep your pet from getting overheated from the sun as you drive.
  • Provide water and snacks in crates and hand-feed treats if they’re in a seat belt.
  • Secure your pet’s gear so nothing goes flying should you stop short.

If your pet isn’t used to traveling, you may need to take them on many little trips to get them used to riding.

Planning Your Route and Stops

No matter where you’re headed, plan your route. If you’re traveling the interstate, every state has rest areas and welcome centers to take your pup for a walk.

Also, many truck centers now have small dog parks where you can stretch your legs. As you drive through, it’s always nice to look for dog parks in small towns. These areas are usually well-kept and allow you to take a break from driving while your dog is romping with new-found friends.

Pet-Friendly Accommodations

The biggest issue when taking a road trip with your dog is finding pet friendly travel options like motels, hotels, rentals, and camping areas. While many hotels and motels are now pet-friendly, it pays to check reviews before reserving a room. Sometimes, older motels have designated pet rooms that may have been smoking rooms or have musty odors.

There are still many of the nicer places that have no problem with you having a pet with you. There may be weight restrictions and extra pet fees, so ask about these things in advance.

Keeping Your Dog Entertained and Calm

Even though dogs can lay in the house for what seems like hours, when you set out on a dog road trip, they are on high alert. Dogs are naturally curious and protective, so you need to find things to entertain them as you drive. Here are some things that may keep them busy:

  • Interactive toys – Puzzle feeders and treat-dispensing toys may help to alleviate your pup’s boredom.
  • Regular exercise – Whenever you can, stop and give them a chance to stretch and run. A tired dog is less restless.
  • Chew toys and treats – Chewing will keep them quiet but always supervise their gnawing.
  • Favorite toys and blankets – Familiar toys can be comforting both in the car and at night.
  • Calming supplements – Some vets will prescribe medications to help your dog relax.

Since dogs are creatures of habit, try to stick as close as possible to their schedules.


Feeding Your Dog on the Road - Portable Bowls and Storage

Many bowls and storage options are on the market, so find one that works for you. The best portable bowls are the collapsible silicone bowls since they are good for food or water and easy to pack.

When feeding your dog, feed them the same thing they would have at home. This will keep them from getting an upset stomach.

Separate your dog’s meals and put each meal in a storage bag. Put the bags in a container or travel bag to stay dry and pest-free.

Because dogs are curious, too much may be going on to get them to settle down and eat. If possible, park somewhere secluded and have lunch together. Oftentimes, dogs prefer to eat at the same time as you, so this will encourage them to eat. Keep them from overeating, or they may get sick when you resume travel.


Traveling with your favorite pet is a good way to share exciting adventures. As long as you plan ahead, protect your vehicle’s interior, and secure your pet for travel, your vacation could start something new for you a