Did I pack my toothbrush? Do I have enough socks? Will I even need socks? Oh the thoughts that cross my mind before I travel! If you’re like me, you run around franticly before traveling and then the thought pops in your mind, “Oh wait, the dogs!” I have been up and down the east coast and far west traveling with my pooches, so I’d like to think that I have rubber tramping down to a science!

Before heading out on the road with your dogs, here are a few things I’ve learned from traveling with my dogs.

First thing, I like to exercise my dogs thoroughly before the trip begins. This way they have a chance to use the bathroom and burn their energy. If your dog is anxious on drives, burning their excess energy will help him relax.

If you know that your dog suffers from car sickness, I would recommend speaking with your vet and considering giving your pup Dramamine. If it is a short trip, it is also a good idea to hold off on feeding him before the trip.

During my trip, I am mindful of where I might be able to stop to let the dogs out. I like to find rest stops that have wide open green spaces to let the dogs stretch their legs. I always keep them under control and on leash during these bathroom breaks!

If I need to stay in a hotel, I will plan ahead and make reservations accordingly. When I arrive at my hotel, I make sure I let my dogs relieve themselves and clean up after them. I also like to respect the other hotel guests and keep my dogs quiet and under control. Having a well-behaved dog makes life so much easier!

Here is a checklist of items I like to pack for my pups:

  • Dog food… duh
  • Plenty of water
  • Dog bowls
  • Chew toys
  • Dog bed or blanket
  • Dog crate for the hotel
  • Emergency vet contact information for the various destinations along the ride
  • Canine first-aid kit (I keep one in my truck at all times)
  • Leashes—I like to have a long leash to let them stretch out during their bathroom breaks
  • Any medicine your dog may need while living life on the road

Here is a list of hotel chains that allow pets:

  • La Quinta
  • Red Roof Inn
  • Best Western
  • Drury Inn
  • Motel 6

Traveling with your pets can make for more work and planning, but the memories you will make with them will be priceless! So, go for it and live life out on the open road!