How to prepare a dog-firendly road trip?

Summer vacation is approaching, and for many of us, it's the perfect time to travel with our four-legged family members. Whether it's your dog's first long car journey or they have just limited experience with car rides, this article provides you with the keys to a smooth road trip.

Discover how to prepare for a trip with your dog, regardless of their size and age, to ensure a peaceful journey.


Prepare the appropriate equipment for your dog

Choosing the appropriate equipment for your dog's car transport is essential to prepare for a stress-free car journey. Familiarize yourself with the regulations in the country you are traveling to. In any case, the driver must ensure the safety of the dog and all other passengers.

Here are several options from which you can choose:

  • A transport crate is a reassuring and secure solution for your dog. They come in various sizes. For small dogs, a transport bag may be sufficient, but for larger dogs, investing in a sturdy crate is necessary.


  • If your car is not suitable for a transport crate, you can opt for a safety harness. However, never attach your dog with a collar to the car, as the risk of strangulation is too high. The harness, on the other hand, allows your dog freedom of movement.


  • It is also possible to have your dog travel in the trunk and separate it from the passenger compartment with a grille or net. If your trunk is not open to the passenger compartment, never let your dog travel in the trunk as it could suffocate.


Reserve a comfortable space for your dog, to ensure a pleasant journey

Once the safety aspects are addressed, it’s time to focus on your dog’s comfort. Make sure to reserve a comfortable space for your dog to ensure a pleasant journey.

  • Choose a suitable location based on your dog's size, avoiding crowded areas.


  • Place a blanket or non-slip mat on the surface where your dog will settle for added comfort.


  • Consider the temperature: Ensure the area is well-ventilated and protected from direct sunlight.


  • Keep dangerous or fragile items out of your dog's reach.


  • Prepare a bag with your dog's essentials: water, food bowl, toys, and treats to keep them entertained during the trip.


Gradually acclimate your dog to the car before the big departure

  • Associate the car with positive experiences such as walks or treats.


  • Start with short trips and gradually increase the duration of the journeys.


  • Plan regular breaks to allow your dog to stretch their legs and relieve themselves.

How to prepare for the day of the journey?

  • Maintain a calm and serene atmosphere before leaving. Your dog can sense it, if there is something wrong. If possible, take a walk with your dog before getting into the car. Since some dogs are prone to car sickness, avoid feeding them before the journey.


  • In the car, ensure easy access to a bowl, water, treats, your dog's leash, and waste bags for breaks.


  • Plan regular breaks to allow your dog to stretch their legs and relieve themselves.


Take breaks with your dog

During a car journey with your dog, regular breaks are essential to reduce stress. It's an opportunity for your furry friend to stretch their legs, attend to their needs, and most importantly, drink water. Aim to take a break every two to three hours. Look for rest areas with green spaces where your dog can safely run around. If your dog is traveling in a crate, be cautious when releasing them. The excitement and joy of reuniting with you can make their behavior unpredictable and potentially risky.

Don't forget to bring a toy or ball to keep your dog entertained. It's also an ideal time to give them a small treat or a light meal. Ensure they are well-hydrated before continuing the journey. With good organization, breaks can be an enjoyable part of the trip for both you and your dog.

What to do if your dog is too stressed to get in the car?

If, despite all the preparation, your dog experiences significant stress and refuses to get into the car, using canine CBD may be an interesting option. CBD is known for its calming properties and may help reduce your pet's anxiety during the journey.

Make sure to consult your veterinarian before trying CBD, as they can provide personalized advice and inform you about potential contraindications.

Familiarize yourself with the CBD products available for dogs, such as oils, treats, or capsules. Start with a low dosage for your dog a few days before the trip to observe their behavior and adjust the quantity if necessary.

Now as you know how to best prepare for your journey with your four-legged companion, it's time to enjoy your vacation together.