Essential Accessories For Car Travel With Dogs

Which dog travel accessories are essential for the car? We’ve boiled it down to the basics—gear to keep in the car always, and other necessities to pack for traveling with your dog to a far-reaching destination, or to the park across town.

Dog Travel Accessories To Keep In The Car

  • A Dog Travel Bowl - You’ll potentially need a travel dog food bowl and water bowl for even a quick jaunt with your dog—always leave one in the car.
  • A Spare Personalized Dog Collar and Leash - You’ll be glad to have these basic dog accessories at your fingertips, if only for the lost dog you found. Keep your contact information current on his dog collar and tags, and always include your cell phone number.

Dog Travel Accessories To Pack For The Trip

  • Dog Food and Bottled Water - Stick to his familiar food. Pack only what your dog will eat for the duration of the trip to avoid overfeeding him, and keep it where he can’t graze on it while you’re driving. Bring bottled water and freeze it for travel if it’s hot outside. And continue to use bottled water in your destination town if your dog has a sensitive stomach—unfamiliar water can make him sick.
  • Canine First Aid Kit - It could buy you some time in an emergency, or save you a trip to the vet for a minor problem. Tuck your dog’s certificate of health and vaccinations record into the kit if you’re crossing state lines, and include local and emergency veterinary contact information for professionals in your destination city or town.
  • A Dog Car Restraint System - The dog car harness, portable crate, and rear seat barrier offer varied measures of dog safety and security when you travel and are required in some states; choose the dog restraint that’s right for your situation. If you plan to crate him for car travel, a portable dog crate offers the convenience of a compact design—you can leave it in the car so it’s always there when you need it.
  • Favorite Dog Toys and Treats - They’re not just for entertainment: the familiar smell of his favorite plush toy is reassuring to a dog with travel anxiety. If you’re taking him with you on a longish trip, change up his toys once in awhile to keep him stimulated. Treat him for good car behavior, and if dog car sickness is a problem, give him small treats at well-timed intervals instead of a big meal.
  • A Rear Seat Protector or Dog Hammock - These smart products help keep dog hair, dirt, and other unmentionables off your car upholstery; they’ll also protect leather upholstery in particular against sharp dog toenails.
  • A Dog Cleanup Kit - Include a multi-purpose spray cleaner, paper towels, and plastic garbage bags for inevitable doggy messes. And be conscientious: bring plastic grocery bags to pick up your dog’s doings when you travel.
  • Old Towels - They come in handy for cleanup and other unforeseen situations when you travel with your dog.

Additional travel accessories for your dog may sweeten the ride, but these are the basics. Keep the car a comfortable temperature while you’re rolling, allow in some fresh air from time to time, and throw a towel over his crate or use a car window shade if he’ll be exposed to direct sunlight over the long haul. Take frequent breaks on the road and honor his request to stop right away if he’s telling you he’s got to go. Sticking with familiar routines and including a few travel necessities in the car will help make traveling with your dog enjoyable for everybody.

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