I adore car rides. It sounds cliche for a pup, but there is something about my ears and jowls blowing in the wind, the sounds of nature, and the smell of pee that gets me every time. Since I have so many new dog friends interested in traveling and I have successfully completed my first cross-country road trip, I decided that a post on how to travel across America with your pup was a necessity for my new blog.
Step 1: Check your health
Going for a routine vet check-up to make sure you are healthy, vaccinations are up to date, and heartworm/tick medication is ready for the trip is imperative for your pup’s health. Some parts of the country require different vaccinations, so make sure you have the right ones, and always have your pet’s paperwork in the car with you in case of emergency. Since I’m an American bulldog and my breed is banned across multiple cities in the U.S., we always have our paperwork handy so that we don’t get into trouble. I take my flea/tick medication monthly so that we can go on beautiful hikes and camping trips without having to worry about any yucky pests. Not all doggies like traveling, so I would try a short test trip to make sure your dog doesn’t get sick in the car. If she does get nauseated, there are many good products on the market to settle their bellies on the road.
Step 2: Plan your route
Planning your route is probably the most difficult part of a cross-country America road trip. Fortunately, there are many cool tools my mom has used to plot out our route. Google Maps and Roadtrippers are our favorite resources to plan the journey. Roadtrippers uses interactive maps that can help you figure out the best, fastest routes to get to your destinations. You can save your trip on the app and use it throughout the trip. If you are a banned or restricted breed like me, it is crucial to know which cities don’t allow your pup and to avoid them at all costs. We always check out Dogsbite before driving to a new place. After all, I did come from Miami — the only city in Florida where pitbulls and pitbull-like breeds are banned. If you need help planning a dog-friendly road trip, please don’t hesitate to reach out so we can help. Mom and Dad have visited almost all of the states and love to travel. Soon I will be as well-traveled as them!
Step 3: Pack for your pup
Making your pup comfortable on the road is the most essential part of the trip. Bringing their bed and one favorite stuffed animal for cuddling will help ease any difficulties your pup may have with being away from home. When traveling cross-country, you need to pack your dog’s food, water/food bowl, and a first-aid kit with any medications or supplements your pet needs. My necessities are my comfy bed, monkey, a collapsible water bowl, and a portable container with a scoop to hold my food. Check out my Scarlett’s travel gear page to learn more about my necessities on the road.
Step 4: Find dog-friendly hotels and destinations
There are a few helpful resources for finding dog-friendly destinations, and Mom’s favorites are Booking and Bring Fido. When you use Booking.com, make sure to click the button that only shows pet-friendly hotels before booking your trip. The website doesn’t always inform you about excess pet fees or weight restrictions, so we always cross-check the hotel on BringFido. The cool thing about BringFido is that they tell you the exact weight/breed restrictions and fees at most hotels, plus they recommend some good pet-friendly restaurants in the area where you are staying. So far, our favorite hotels with no breed restrictions and pet fees are La Quinta (for budget-friendly, pet fee-free rooms) and Kimpton hotels (for fancier dog-friendly rooms).
Quick tips for an America road trip with your pup:
- Make sure your pup’s vaccinations are current.
- Bring your pup’s vet paperwork.
- Don’t forget your flea/tick meds.
- Use Roadtrippers.com to plan your route.
- Pack your pup’s favorite toy.
- Pack your collapsible water/food bowls.
- Pack your dog food in a portable container with a scoop.
- Use Booking.com to book your dog-friendly room.
- Use BringFido.com to check pet fees and breed or weight restrictions.
- Take state sign pics at the state welcome centers — it’s safer than stopping on the side of the highway with your dog!
- Contact us if you need help planning your trip.
I hope you found this post helpful and informative, and I would love to hear any feedback from my pawsome friends.
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Stay tuned for my next blog post where I write about dog-friendly fun in Portland, Oregon.
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