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Few things rival the excitement of taking a good, old-fashioned road trip. Whether it’s a solo trip, one with your significant other, or with the whole family, road trips are a favorite pasttime for many Americans. While it can be relatively easy to pack a bunch of people into a car and hit the road, things become more challenging when pets are involved. Sure, you could find a dog-sitter, but why leave your furry family members behind?
If you’re just looking for ideas on how to manage a trip with your best friend in tow, check out our 7 tips for a road trip with your dog, right here. Looking for new places to check out? We’ve got the 10 most pet-friendly road-trip cities in America for you as well. Concerned with in-car safety? We had a discussion with Lindsey Wolko, the founder of the Center for Pet Safety, and put together this article on how to keep your pets properly protected in the car. Last but not least, if you’ve got all the info down but you’re just wondering what you’ll need to keep Fido comfortable and secure on the long drive, check out the list below.
$103.49 at Walmart $73.99 at Amazon
- Crash test certified by the Center for Pet Safety
- Constructed with energy absorbing neoprene padding
- Makes use of reflective strips on the harness for improved night visibility
- Features a double “D” ring leash connection
The Sleepypod Clickit Sport is one of only a select few harnesses currently certified by the Center for Pet Safety. The CPS certification program has been around for nearly 10 years, and requirements for certification can be seen right here. The Clickit Sport passed the CPS’ certification testing with 5 stars and there’s even footage of the testing available for viewing right here. Aside from being CPS certified, this harness is great for walking or hiking with your dog thanks to its energy absorbing neoprene padding construction, fuilt-in reflective strips and double “D” ring leash connection. You can find options at both Walmart and Amazon, but for the full range of harness sizes and colors, check out the official Sleepypod website right here.
$700 at Gunner.com
- CPS Certified travel crate
- 34″ (L) x 23″ (W) x 28.5″ (H)
- 48 lbs
- Double-wall rotomolded construction to protect against environmental elements
- Reversible door can be opened from whichever side you choose
- Reinforced with an aluminum frame
- Features backup and safety latches
- Includes a removable drain plug for easy cleaning
The Gunner G1 is the ultimate pet travel crate. It’s been certified by the CPS (at the small, medium and intermediate sizes) and a test video can be found here. The intermediate crate weighs 48 lbs and has lots of great features for usability. The door is reversible so you can choose which way it opens, it has backup and safety latches, and it even has a removable drain plug on the bottom to make cleaning easier. On top of that, it’s double-wall rotomolded, reinforced with an aluminum frame, has two kayak-grade carry handles and non-slip rubber feet. If you’re looking for a sturdy travel crate, you can’t go wrong with Gunner.
$229.95 at Amazon
- Mesh dome is completely and easily removable
- Includes “ultra plush” bedding that is also removable and machine-washable
- Exterior constructed with “luggage-grade ballistic nylon”
- Includes adjustable shoulder strap
- For pets up to 15 lbs
While your pet isn’t harnessed into a seatbelt, you’ll want a comfortable place for them to relax on the trip. That’s where one of these portable pet beds comes in handy. This one by Sleepypod is available in multiple colors and comes with lots of handy features. First, it has a totally removable mesh dome to make it easier for your pet to crawl in and out when you’re not using it as a carrier. When you are using it as a carrier, you can make use of the removable, adjustable shoulder strap. Inside the bed is an “ultra plush” machine-washable bedding and the outside is made with a sturdy “luggage-grade ballistic nylon.”
$6.99 at Amazon
- Made of “high quality food grade silicone,” and dishwasher safe
- Expandable to different sizes depending on the size of your pet
- Available in multiple color combinations
- Comes with clip to hang on bags or other travel accessories
- Made to stand firm when filled with water or food
If you’re headed on a trip with your dog, you probably won’t want to take up space bringing your stainless steel or ceramic dog bowls that you use at home. A great solution is to pick up a collapsible silicone dog bowl for your journey. This one is expandable to different sizes, made with durability in mind and even comes with a clip to hang it on your backpack.
$39.99 at Amazon
- 100-piece kit includes pet-specific items like a pet thermometer, emergency collar and tick remover, in addition to general first aid supplies
- 8.3″ x 6.3″ x 3.2″ dimensions
- Bag constructed with water-resistant hard nylon fabric made for the rugged outdoors
- FDA approved
The ARCA pet first aid kit is a 100-piece FDA approved kit with all kinds of emergency supplies for your pet. In addition to things like a pet thermometer, emergency collar, tick remover and pouch, it also comes with syringes, an ice pack, tongue depressors, bandages, bandage scissors, tweezers, tape, wipes and more. It’s all stored in a small, lightweight bag made of water-resistant nylon and it’s designed and distributed from Los Angeles.
$16.99 at Amazon
- 540 pack
- Extra-thick, leak proof
- 13″ x 9″ bags
- Made out of a corn starch blend
- Packaging and roll cores made of recycled materials
Naturally, if you’re going on a long trip, you’ll have to make some pit stops along the way. Not cleaning up after your pet after they go is just bad form (seriously, don’t be that person), so it’s a great idea to have some poop bags handy to clean up after your dog. These bags from Greener Walker come in a pack of 540, so you won’t be running low any time soon. They’re leak-proof, made of an environmentally friendly corn starch blend, and the packaging and roll cores are all made of recyclable materials.
$34.99 at Amazon
- 400 count
- 8″ x 8″ wipes
- 99% plant-based wipes
- Made with aloe vera, shea butter, chamomile and cucumber
- Hypoallergenic – no parabens or alcohol
Speaking of pit stops, you may be forced to pull over in some not-so-ideal locations to let your pet do their business. If that’s the case, you don’t want them to track dirt or mud back into your car. That’s where grooming wipes come into play. These wipes come in a 400 pack, are 99% plant based, are hypoallergenic and are available either unscented or with a lavender scent.