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How to Transport a Dog in a Car | 29 Must-Follow Tips


This dog blog is about how to transport a dog in the car. An complete checklist about how to travel with dogs. These 29 must-follow tips will help you to be prepared when you are hitting the road. Whether you're going on a short or long trip - you will be succesfully prepared! 



Dogs can be great travel companions, as long as you think ahead about your pup's travel needs. There are so many different dog breeds, every dog needs special preparations. Take into consideration your pup's comfort level. Does he get carsick? Can he get in and out of a vehicle without trouble? Always secure your dog when traveling in a car, whether that be in a dog car seat or with a harness, but visit rest stops frequently so he can stretch his legs. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) suggests stopping every two to three hours to allow your dog to get out of the vehicle, have a chance to go to the bathroom and have a drink.



Never leave an animal in a parked car! Even on a cool day, temperatures in a parked car can peak quickly, placing your pet at risk for heatstroke or death. On cold days, your pet could suffer hypothermia in a closed car.



For the transport of pets in the EU the following general rules apply:



    Follow this simple checklist to make sure you don’t forget anything for your dog while travelling.

    • Dry food in zip-up bags;
    • Food and water bowls;
    • Rawhide bones or other natural treats. Giving your pet a rawhide bone while traveling can provide your pet with relief from boredom. An effective rawhide chew can last for hours. If you have a puppy, the rawhide bone cannot only provide continuous stimulation, but can relieve your puppy’s teething pain;
    • Water bottles filled with water from home. It will be easier to get your dog to drink if it's familiar water from home. Water in different places can taste and smell different and your pet may not want to drink it.



    • Calming remedies help with motion sickness and the stress that comes along with traveling;
    • Medications;
    • Health papers. Check before traveling on specific requirements especially if traveling internationally. Some places require that you have up-to-date health papers on hand;
    • Your veterinarian’s phone number and any emergency contact information.



    • Normal grooming supplies. For example, if your pet tends to jump in to bodies of water, bring dog shampoo. In new environments your dog could come in contact with bugs and plants that neither of you are used to;
    • Paper towels;
    • Antibacterial baby wipes;
    • ID tags. Make sure to have identification tags on your dog's collar and carrier. You may also want to consider getting your dog micro-chipped;
    • Toys can keep your dog stimulated both while traveling and once you've reached your destination. Bringing remnants from your pet's home can make the transition easier while he is away.


    1. Make travel reservations for your dog;
    2. Find dog-friendly destinations in Europe or the United States of America ;
    3. Compulsory travel documents (European pet passport, rabies certificate and any health certificate);
    4. Dog’s medical records, including vaccination history;
    5. Prescription medications (if applicable);
    6. Vet-approved calming remedies (if required);
    7. Identify good local vet and emergency vet;
    8. Get a temporary ID tag with local address and phone number;
    9. A current pic of your dog to circulate if he’s lost (honestly, there’s probably dozens in your phone!);
    10. Addresses, phone numbers of veterinary clinics at destinations and along route


    11. Dog car seat that functions as a dog bed;
    12. Choose your restraint option (harness);
    13. Travel water bottle/dispenser;
    14. Enough food (and treats) for the trip and first 24 hours in your new home, plus a little extra just in case;
    15. Extra waste bags;
    16. Food and water bowl;
    17. Blanket;
    18. Dog shampoo;
    19. 2 or 3 old towels for cleanup;
    20. A couple of dog toys;
    21. First-aid kit; ask your veterinarian what to include for your particular pet. Good things to include are Benadryl (diphenhydramine), triple antibiotic ointment, general antiseptic (Nolvasan or Betadine), bandage material (sterile gauze and a wrapping material), tweezers (for tick removal from pets or people if needed!), emergency veterinary contact information;
    22. Flea and tick collar;
    23. Poop bags;
    24. Regular grooming supplies;
    25. Wet wipes for pets or paper towels;
    26. Lightweight dog bathrobe towel Trust us, your dog is going to get dirty while camping, so it's a good idea to wipe him down before letting him in a camper or tent;
    27. Pet hair remover;
    28. Life jacket if any boating will be involved;
    29. Dog raincoat or dog wintercoat.


    Always make sure that the dog is stuck in the car and that you always have the leash right by your side. If something bad happends all of the sudden: Then you can quickly get your dog out of the car. Also, do not give the dog a bone while driving. The dog can choke on it if you brake hard or have a collision.


    The key to how to transport a dog in a car is planning ahead. There’s no such thing as winging it when it comes to making a long move with your canine friend, since you need to accommodate their needs as much as possible during the trip. If the drive is going to take multiple days, arrange for a stay at a dog-friendly hotel along the way (or multiple hotels, if your trip will take more than two days) instead of just hoping you’ll come across one. The more details you can anticipate and cover in advance, the easier of a time you’ll have on the road. Always make sure to be prepared for dog-friendly destinations in Europe and the United States of America (U.S.)  when you are going on a vacation.


    In a different blog we have covered many dog breeds to travel on the road with them. Read more about the different dog breeds tips to transport them in the car:



    When you are planning to go on a road trip, make sure to check these tips and must-haves to prevent being unprepared. Do you have more tips? Contact us and we will add the tips & tag you



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