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How to Travel with a Dog in a Car?

How to Travel with a Dog in a Car?

We know traveling with dogs can be a daunting task. Many have experienced the disaster that comes with being unprepared. We would like you to be ready for any situation that happens during the trip.


Do you know that you should not let your dog stick its head out the windows while moving, unlike what movies show? We would show you other things like this to know about how to with your dog in a car. Also, things to do before, during, and after your journey; essential tips to keep your dog safe, happy, and comfortable during a car trip.

Before the Journey

There are several things to set in place and prepare before you go on a trip with your dog. We walk you through the basics; from safety measures to what should be in your traveling kit.

Your dog’s safety comes first:

Before the journey, you need to ensure you put in safety measures. First, turn off your car power windows. There have been cases of dogs winding the windows up and choking themselves or even putting them down and jumping off. These two scenarios aren’t pleasant.


Secondly, humans need seat belts to secure themselves; your dog would need something equal. There are several options to choose from; crash-tested crates, hammocks, harnesses, safety seats, etc. You have to consider your car type, the size, breed, nature of your dog before choosing the best option for you.


Harnesses are suitable for calm, well-behaved dogs. Hammocks are cool for older dogs that like to lie down, and plush carry boxes for small pups. However, we would recommend crash-tested crates. Crates are the safest way for your dog to ride in a car. A suitable crate has these properties:

        Big enough for your dog to stand and move around.

        Well ventilated


Get your dog used to riding in a car:

We would advise training your dog to behave in a car using these two steps:

      Let your dog move around in the car while in the garage or driveway, you don’t need to go anywhere. Just let your dog get familiar with your car.

 Go on short rides to exciting places for your dog. This makes them associate car rides with a fun experience, hereby, making it easier while going on longer journeys.

Getting your dog used to a moving car can also help with car sickness, but we advise that you contact the vet for what to do and to know how to travel with a dog that gets car sick.

Prepare a traveling kit:

The next thing you need to know on how to travel with a dog in a car is preparing the traveling kit. This contains a list of items that are all essential to you and your dog:

        Collar, leash, or tags (Having a means of identification).

        Medical Records and Vaccination Certificates.

        Food, water, and treats.

        Water bowl.

        Poop bags. 


        Blankets and Towels.

Don’t feed your dog right before you travel:

Except you want your dog to motion sick, or even do a number two in your vehicle, we advise you not to feed your dog right before you travel. If you want to feed your dog, do so a few hours before you move, and it should be something light on your dog’s stomach.

Bonus Tip (Hyperactive Dogs):

You can tire your dog out by taking a walk or going on a run. This would help your dog calm down in the vehicle and probably sleep off. You can also consider a vet given your canine companion a mild sedative to mellow them out for the journey.

Note: This is not essential, but it can surely help you out with a hyperactive dog.


Now that you are all prepared, it’s time to go on your journey, but wait! There are more things to learn about and do while traveling with your dog in the car.

During the Journey

It is essential to maintain your dog’s wellbeing while on a trip; this involves making sure your dog is comfortable and happy. Here are a few steps to do just that.

Keep your dog safe:

A lot of movies portray dogs sticking out their heads in vehicles and biting the wind in pure bliss, sure, dogs love to do that, but it is not safe for them. Don’t let your dog stick it’s head out; your dog can suffer from eye damage caused by dirt, debris, or bugs in the wind.


Ensure the area is well ventilated while traveling with your dog in a car, keeping the windows open or using your air conditioner will do the trick, and making sure crates are well ventilated when used. If you would be stepping out of the vehicle, take your dog along. Make sure you don’t leave your dog unattended.

The worst combination you could have is rolling up the windows and leaving your dog in a hot car unattended. According to the ASPCA, your dog can suffer symptoms like seizures, difficulty breathing, drooling in minutes, and eventually death. Safety comes first while traveling with a dog in your car.

Take frequent stops:

At intervals, take a short stop to stretch your dog’s legs and even your legs. Let the dog run around, drink water using the water bowl you have along, and do its business.


Now, you have to make sure that you clean up after your dog using the poop bags and other items you have along. We are sure you don’t want to pay hundreds of dollars for such a mistake.

Keep your dog engaged:

An idle dog can be naughty at times, that’s why giving your dog a chew toy or nylon bones to play with can help you both. It keeps your dog happy and relieves you of the naughtiness.


We would advise laying off on squeaky toys while traveling, imagine hearing that high pitched sound throughout the trip.


If miraculously, you survived the trip without any mishaps, there are still some things to do after the journey; they are quite simple.

After the Journey

Your responsibility after your journey with your dog is to check your dog’s state. If there are issues, consult your vet, if not, these steps are what you need.

Reward your dog:

With the tips given, surely, your dog must have acted well during the trip. Give your dog a treat or two as a reward.

Let your dog stretch:

After your trip, let your dog run around and stretch its legs, especially if it’s a long journey. Let your dog do its business, pee and drink some water.


Those are the major things you need to know about traveling safely with your dog in your car. Once you are all done, you can go about your activities, we are sure your dog is fine.

Here are some bonus tips regarding how to travel with your dog inside the car


We have provided tips on the best way to travel with your dog in a car, all you should do is follow those tips, and you would have a pleasant trip. It starts by gathering all you need for your dog in a travel kit, then setting up safety measures for your canine companion before and during your journey.


Try taking frequent stops and keeping your dog engaged and happy throughout the journey. Lastly, reward your dog, and probably yourself. You can learn more about vets along your path, hotels, restaurants that are dog-friendly, to keep yourself prepared.

Have you faced any challenges we mentioned in this guide? Leave a comment sharing your experience?


1 comment on “How to Travel with a Dog in a Car?”


May 20, 2021 at 01:56

Deborah Plourde says:

Enjoyed the information

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