A sample text widget

Etiam pulvinar consectetur dolor sed malesuada. Ut convallis euismod dolor nec pretium. Nunc ut tristique massa.

Nam sodales mi vitae dolor ullamcorper et vulputate enim accumsan. Morbi orci magna, tincidunt vitae molestie nec, molestie at mi. Nulla nulla lorem, suscipit in posuere in, interdum non magna.

Road Trip Essentials with Pets

Depending upon where you live, you may be dreaming of a road trip with your dog. Here in the northeastern part of the U.S. we have another snowy day. Driving is out of the question. However, if you live in warm climes (lucky you) or are planning ahead, you will want to save these tips before your next road trip.

Local Travel

Thanks to the economy, Americans have changed their travel habits. Most are taking local trips–exploring their home states and visiting nearby ones. Road travel is up, and people are traveling with their dogs.

Amy and Rod Burkert with their dogs Ty and Buster.

According to the U.S. Travel Association, a non-profit trade organization that represents the U.S. travel industry, 14 percent of all U.S. adults (that’s 29.1 million) have traveled with a pet on a trip of 50 miles or more in the past three years. Dogs are the most common type of pet to take along (78 percent). Cats came in a distant second at 15 percent.

On the Road with Your Dog
Amy and Rod Burkert, co-founders of GoPetFriendly.com, a free-to-use internet resource for people who prefer to travel with their pets, are constantly amazed by the welcome attitudes they encounter when on the road with their two dogs, Buster, a 2 1/2 year old rescued German Shepherd and Ty, a 5 year old Shar Pei.

“Who would have thought you could take dogs on the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC,” says Rod. “Maybe it’s the economy. Maybe it’s people’s changing attitudes. But many times, all you need to do is ask if the location is pet friendly.”

Packing for their Trip
The Burkerts always take extra leashes in case one gets lost or left behind. Other essentials include carpet cleaner, in case there are any accidents in hotel rooms; a first aid kit, which they ordered through Amazon, a roll of paper towels, a micro fiber towel to dry the dogs off if they get wet in the rain or go swimming in a creek or beach, complete medical records of the dogs that have been scanned to a thumb drive, treats, a gallon jug of water in case the dogs get thirsty, pet toys, insect repellant, sun screen, and a backpack for Buster, “to give him a job of carrying stuff when we go on hikes,” says Rod. Plus they pack medications and food.

“What we don’t pack are crates,” says Rod. “Everything is within reach and easy to get to. And, one thing I would like to add is that we maintain the dogs’ morning and evening walk schedules–time and distance.”

Must Haves
When the Burkert family travels, they concern themselves with their dogs’ medicine and food. Both dogs have conditions that are easily controlled with medication. (Buster gets seizures and Ty has hypothyroidism.)  “Before we hit the road, we simply pick up a supply of pills from our vet that will last for the duration of the trip,” says Rod.

Food is another issue. “We recently switched our dogs to a dehydrated raw food diet from The Honest Kitchen,” Rod explains. “The food is not widely available (maybe not at all at the big box pet stores) so this will require some planning.  The Honest Kitchen provides free UPS ground shipping on bulk orders (along with a nice discount). Our first shipment took only 3 days to get to Pennsylvania from California. We start our trips with a food supply in the RV. As we travel for months at a time, we always plan ahead and order more food when we start running low. This way a shipment can reach us in time.”

Plan ahead, drive safely, and have fun. Have a tip on traveling with your dog? Please share it with us.

11 comments to Road Trip Essentials with Pets

  • The most important message I want leave behind is that, today, it is easier then ever to travel with your pet. And there are LOTS of resources out there to help pet owners. So I don’t care if you’re fans of Bring Fido, Fido Factor, Official Pet Hotels, Pets Welcome, or – of course – our own GoPetFriendly. Just get out there … travel with your pet … and patronize businesses that have a pet friendly policies. Woof!

  • This post does a great job of telling folks how easy and fun it is to take a road trip with your dogs, with a little advance planning. I would add to the list of “must haves,” however, a way of restraining your dog while traveling. It is just not safe for a dog to be loose in a car — not for the dog, not for the humans. Big dogs have a variety of options — the crates that Rod and Amy don’t carry, a zip-line stretched across the back seat (a harness attached to your dog keeps him safe but allows him to move around freely), a grate across the top of the back seat (turning the way-back into a large crate, essentially). Small dogs have different options, all involving a harness and tether. Be sure to choose one, though — it’s an essential part of a successful and safe road trip!

  • I couldn’t agree more with Mary-Alice’s comment. Having your pets secure in your vehicle is absolutely essential. Our dogs both wear car harnesses that give them a little room to move around – for Ty that means turning a couple of circles and promptly settling in for a nap. Some people are concerned that their dog might not be comfortable in a harness, but it’s not a problem for our boys. They are both very used to the harness, and even pick up their paw to “help” get them on.

    Thanks so much for the post Michele!!

  • My pleasure Amy, Your site http://www.gopetfriendly.com offers great travel advice on where to stay and helpful tips on how to get there. It’s a wonderful service.

  • Great Tips for traveling with your pets! Have fun on the road!

  • I appreciated the reminder from Amy about maintaining the walk times for your dogs while traveling, regardless of the timezone. And having dehydrated food has got to be a real plus! Great post, thanks!

  • I agree on maintaining walk and food schedules when traveling with dogs. My family has discovered that having the dog with us helps us to feel more “at home” and in our element. Maintaining the dog’s schedule helps US to take better care of ourselves when in transit.

    I have experience with dogs that are nervous on car rides — including carsickness. This is a problem that can be difficult to overcome.

    My current dog, still a puppy, loves car rides and relaxes as soon as he jumps into the vehicle. We’ve all had toll booth attendants laugh because he passes out stretched across our laps on the front seat.

    Easy rider, indeed.

  • Mark

    To save money we did camping trips and took the dogs along. The one thing we overlooked was was to do when the they poop. We didn’t bring the pooper scooper and didn’t have enough bags to get us through the week. Luckily the camp site we were at sold a pooper scooper (it must be a common problem). The good news is that even though we had to pay for one we still use it to this day (much better than our original one, it’s called the Sooper Scooper) I have yet to see another one like it. We will be much better prepared for the next vacation.

  • […] Trip Essentials with PetsPetNewsandViews.comDepending upon where you live, you may be dreaming of a road trip with your dog. Here in the […]

  • Bryce Thorley

    This is perfect for our summer vacation plans. We always take summer road trips to the shore with out pets.