loading image  Loading... Please wait...

Kurgo Dog Blog

8 Tips for Summer Travel With Your Dog

Posted by

Summer vacation and opportunities to travel often go hand in hand. Our dogs want to be with us, and we love to bring them along on vacation when we can. To ensure that you both have a wonderful time, some advanced planning can make a significant difference. You want to be sure you both get to relax and unwind upon arrival and that you can enjoy worry-free time together. We’ve assembled some tips to make summer travel with your dog go as smoothly as possible.

Before you go…

1. Find pet-friendly lodging

If you plan to stay in a hotel during your vacation be sure to call ahead and find out exactly how they define “pet-friendly”. It’s important to explain your expectations in detail in advance of arriving to make sure you are on the same page. Some hotels will be fine with you leaving your dog in the room during the day, but others will not allow that. If you are renting a home, be sure you are both clear as to the rules for having dogs on the property.

2. Organize the essentials

Make a packing list for the trip to include things you know your dog will need. For example, one pet parent we talked with never leaves the house without a first aid kit. There are many other items to remember including medications, plenty of water, enough food, travel bowls, a travel bed, a leash, and favorite toys. Your dog should always be wearing a collar with tags so be sure they are current, legible, and secure.

Also, be sure your dog is up to date on shots. Never leave home without a copy of your dog’s current vaccinations or any other important medical information. You might want to consider keeping a copy of these important records in your wallet or secured in the glove box of your car.

3. Get them used to the car

Some dogs are anxious in the car so may require getting acclimated in advance of a longer journey. If this sounds like your dog, build up to the longer trip by taking shorter ones around town. Once underway, consider offering a favorite toy or treat to associate the car ride with to hopefully make things go smoothly.

On the road…

4. Buckle up

The last thing any of us wants to think about is an accident, so it’s important to keep your dog secure while driving. A dog left loose in the car is dangerous for both the animal and the driver. Take the time to outfit your car and your dog with the right gear. A smaller dog will be safe and secure in a booster seat. Owners will have peace of mind when their dogs ride in the car using a crash-tested safety harness

5. Plan to make stops

On a long trip it’s inevitable that both of you will need to stop to use the bathroom, stretch your legs, and have a water break. Your dog will probably need a break every 2 to 3 hours, but if you have a puppy you will have to stop even more frequently. Be sure you pack a leash to clip on before safely helping your dog out of the car.

Since you’re already traveling, you might as well try to find a way to take in the views or discover a beautiful place for a snack along the way. Many people like the @roadside_america app to find unique places to stop.

Also, it’s imperative to never leave a dog alone in a hot car because they can succumb to heatstroke within 15 minutes. Ideally someone in your group can walk your pooch while you run in to use the bathroom. If you are alone and the only option is to leave your dog for a minute, you may need to lock your car and leave it running with the air conditioning on.

6. Offer toys and treats

Many dogs, especially active ones, get bored sitting still for prolonged periods of time. Pack a bag with their favorite toys and offer new ones periodically throughout the trip. For a special treat, consider offering them a bone or chew to keep them busy.

When you arrive…

7. Let them explore!

Once you’ve reached your destination, there will be so many new things to see and smell. Your dog will need to let off some pent-up energy and could benefit from some exercise. Let him take time to get acclimated to the new space and smells. Ideally, you can find a spot for them to run around or to take a swim.

8. Have fun!

Bringing your dog along on vacation can make your time away even more special. You’ll be out of your usual routine and can hopefully relax and bond together. Take lots of pictures, enjoy your new surroundings, and have fun making memories together!

Brooke Spater runs Social Media Marketing at Kurgo. Amongst other things, she manages the Kurgo blog and enjoys spending time with her husband, 3 kids, and their 90 lb. Goldendoodle named Baxter.

View Comments

4 Steps To A Clean Car

At Kurgo, we consider dogs to be part of the family and we know you love having them come along on every adventure. Often times these outings involve mud, sand, or water and before you know it your car is filthy. We've put together 4 tips to help keep your car clean so you can [...]

Read More »

​What to Know Before Flying with Your Dog

Air travel is different for every dog, breed, and owner. Knowing how to prepare for your next trip and what to look for in an airline will be key in having a safe and successful journey. Follow these tips and share your own experiences below to help fellow dog owners and jet-setters have a great flying experience.Consult Your [...]

Read More »

​4 Tips for Driving Safely with a Small Dog

Dogs, small or large, are great travel companions for short trips around town or longer, more adventurous road-trips. No matter the size of your dog, it is important to consider travel safety gear that works for both dog and owner. While larger dogs can use certain restraint systems in the back seat and cargo, items like tethers and dog seatbelts [...]

Read More »

How to Install the Car Door Guard (VIDEO)

Keep slobber, paw marks, and scratches from damaging the interior of your car with the Car Door Guard. Designed to cover the inside of a car door, this guard will capture drool or dirt of any kind, and can serve as car storage, as well. Watch this video to see how the Car Door Guard [...]

Read More »

How to Install the Kurgo Cargo Cape (VIDEO)

Keep your car clean and you dog comfortable with the Cargo Cape. Follow the instructions in this video to learn how to install the Cargo Cape and keep your car free of mud and dirt. Say goodbye to messes!Already own a Cargo Cape and looking for items to go along with it? Take a look [...]

Read More »

How to Install A Bucket Seat Cover (VIDEO)

Keep your passenger seat clean and looking new with the CoPilot Bucket Seat Cover. This car seat protection covers the whole front and back of the passenger seat. To clean, simply remove the cover from the seat and toss it right in the washing machine. To see how the Bucket Seat works, watch this demonstration [...]

Read More »

How to Use the Kurgo Auto Zip Line (VIDEO)

Looking for a safe travel restraint option for a dog that likes to have freedom to roam in the back seat? Out Auto Zip Line does just that. Check out the instructional video below to see if this travel solution will work for you and your dog. Already own an Auto Zip Line and looking for [...]

Read More »

3 Steps to Buckle Up Your Dog in the Car

Did you know there is a correct way to buckle up your dog in the car? The first step is purchasing a crash tested harness, but the second step is understanding how to correctly strap your dog in for a roadtrip, using the harness. So what exactly is a crash tested harness? At Kurgo, our [...]

Read More »

Essential Winter Gear for Dog Travel

Whether you’re going hiking for a day or taking a week-long vacation this winter, make sure you’re prepared no matter what comes your way. There are a few essential pieces of gear you should always have when traveling with your dog. And while you may deem some of them unnecessary for shorter trips, it is always best to plan [...]

Read More »