Ready for your next travel adventure? We’ve got all the best tips on how to travel with 1, 2, or 3 dogs in a car.
Spoiler alert – it is not as difficult as it sounds!
By taking your pets with you, you are guaranteed to make memories that will last a lifetime.
Written by Lita Luse, a lifestyle journalist and dog enthusiast.
Currently, she is an owner of two quirky Westies and an active mongrel.
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Pack a travel bag for your furry friends
You are not the only one who has to pack a bag! If your four-legged friends are joining on your journey, you have to make sure you bring along all of their necessities, including health records and proof of immunizations.
This is especially important when traveling abroad.
During border checks, information on your dogs may be asked too.
Make sure to keep it in a folder so all of the documents don’t get mixed up.
Remember to bring food, water, and bowls with you.
You can find convenient travel bowls that can be folded when you don’t use them.
Oh, and remember to bring their toys!
My dogs couldn’t care less about entertainment options in the car because they are too excited to hit the road. But – once you have a pit stop – they can be handy.
Lastly, remember to bring a first-aid kit, especially if your dog is sensitive to new environments.
While taking food and snacks with you is crucial, it might be a good idea to travel with an empty stomach to avoid car sickness.
Take frequent breaks
Spending a long time in the car is tiring both for humans and pets.
So if you are taking a break to stretch your legs, don’t leave your furry friend in the car!
Your dog can benefit from it too. Plan a little pit stop every two or at maximum, three hours.
During this time, try to give attention to your furry friend and play with them (if they are up to it).
My dogs usually spend most of the road trips sleeping.
However, when traveling for more than 6 hours, that is too much, so I really make sure they get in the movement they need, at least in the small breaks we take.
Use natural stress-reducing remedies (if needed)
Some dogs are more stressful than others.
For example, two of my furry friends have no problem traveling, but the third one hates spending time in the car and is not afraid to show it.
That means whining and crying, whether it is a 15 minute or a 3-hour drive. And I’m not sure why – we have taught them all exactly the same.
But ignoring your furry friends’ anxiety isn’t the way to go (as annoying as it can be).
So before heading on a trip, pay a visit to your vet.
A professional can suggest using natural stress-reducing remedies to help with the overall anxiety. Another option is to find other alternatives that calm your dog.
For example, Bowie, my four-legged friend, forgets about all of his worries if he manages to find a spot on my lap.
But having a dog in one’s lap is not recommended and in fact, is against the law in many states and countries.
Prepare your car for your dogs
With that being said, having one small and calm dog on your lap can be manageable. However, when one turns into three, a road trip can become a nightmare.
That is why it is crucial to prepare your car for the road.
Make sure it is comfortable both for you and your furry friends.
Ideally – your dog should always be restrained during the ride.
In some ways traveling with a furry friend is like going on an adventure with a baby.
There are rules to be followed.
- If there is an accident and your dog is in the front seat, an airbag can kill them.
That is why your pets should always stay in the back seat, preferably in a carrier that is strapped with a seatbelt.
Think of a pet-friendly route
Before you even head on an adventure, you have to consider whether your chosen route is pet-friendly.
Luckily, the world overall is becoming a more animal-friendly place. There are plenty of cafes, hotels, and national parks that accept dogs.
I’ve stayed with my furry friends all around Europe. My dogs have been to Venice, the Alps, French Riviera, and many other places.
As long as you plan ahead, there is almost no place you can’t take your pets.
However, you have to be realistic. It won’t be too much fun wandering around the crowded streets of New York City with your pet.
Furthermore, if you decide to travel with more than one dog, it gets more challenging to move around.
Quite often, accommodations don’t accept more than one pet.
From my experience, it is easier to book a hotel than Airbnb. But you must be prepared to pay a fee.
How to travel with two dogs? Keep them from danger
During your trip, you will have many breaks, including at gas stations.
That might seem like the perfect moment to give your dogs a bathroom break, but it is not the safest environment for them.
Gasoline, oil, and antifreeze are poisonous and really dangerous, but they sometimes are tasty to pets.
That is why it is important to devote all of your attention to your furry friends. It can be challenging, I know. Especially when there are two or three of them.
If you can’t be focused on what each of them is doing, take a walk with them separately, and preferably move your car to a grassy area away from houses, petrol stations and of course, other dogs.
Whether heading on a road trip with your dogs out of necessity or for pleasure, you will have to do some prep work before. But, as long as you make a plan, make sure they are safe and comfortable, and bring all of their goodies, you will have an adventure unlike any other.
After all – there is nothing better than traveling with the whole crew.
Plus – dogs are great vacation companions.
They won’t complain and will enjoy whatever destination you pick unless you forget about snacks.