Taking your furry companions along with you on your next trip? Finding places your dogs are allowed can be difficult and having to get them in and out of vehicles and to the bathroom adds a lot of work to your road trip experience. That doesn't mean you have to leave your fur buddy at home! Here are 5 Tips for a Non-stressful road trip with dogs.

Taking your furry companions along with you on your next trip? Finding places your dogs are allowed can be difficult and having to get them in and out of vehicles and to the bathroom adds a lot of work to your road trip experience. That doesn’t mean you have to leave your fur buddy at home! Here are 5 Tips for a Non-stressful road trip with dogs. There are some simple things you can do to make sure that the experience is comfortable for everyone.

How to have a Painless Road Trips with Dogs

1. Places to stay with dogs


Many AirBNB hosts allow pets for a small fee. Having a whole apartment or house also gives you the freedom of leaving the dogs at home while you enjoy some activities where dogs are not allowed. All you have to do is filter your search for listings that allow pets.

Pet Friendly Hotels

Most hotel chains allow only 2 dogs per room. Also, for some hotel chains, pet policy varies by Franchise owner. Some hotel chains that are always dog friendly include:

  • Red Roof Inn – No fee for pets!
  • Loews Hotels – I have never heard of this chain, but apparently this hotel even leaves pet bowls, treats and food in the room for pets.
  • LaQuinta Inn & Suites

BringFido.com is also a really great resources for finding pet friendly hotels, parks and more.

A list of 26 Budget Friendly Hotels that allow pets


Some campgrounds allow dogs while others do not. Most campgrounds also require that if your dog is not in the tent that they must be on a leash or confined.

Which national parks allow dogs?

The NPS website has a map you can search to figure out which parks do and do not allow dogs. Click the map 🗺️ below to search

Which state parks allow dogs to camp?

Pet Friendly Travel has a list of state park rules regarding dogs for all states. http://petfriendlytravel.com/state_parks

What items do I need to pack for my dog?

– Leashes, harnesses, collar with a tag
– Something for your dogs to drink out of
– Proof of vaccinations in case you need to send them to doggy day care for a bit
– A dog First-Aid kit
– Something to wash them of if they get dirty
– Bowls, dog food, treats
– Dog beds so they are not sleeping on the cold ground.

2. Riding in the car

I have three dogs. Even though they are small, things can get a bit crowded and hectic. Not to mention, my Daschaund mix, Peanut, absolutely hates the windshield wipers. He thinks they are a demon from hell trying to attack us. 😂 I need to find a way to keep the dogs in the back of the Jeep if I needed.I know that they have car dividers for dogs but I have never used one. I didn’t want to spend too much on a divider but I also didn’t want something flimsy that would just fall apart.

This one is $9.99 and it had pretty good reviews. I will update the post with a review once I test it out.


3. Activities you can do
with your dog

Activities for dogs in the National Parks

Many National Parks allow dogs on trails and other areas as long as they are on a leash. Be sure to check ahead of time if the park you plan to visit allows dogs. Here are some examples from the NPS website of activities you can do at the national parks: https://www.nps.gov/subjects/pets/about.htm

Your dog can even become a National Bark Ranger!! I really want to make my dogs Bark Rangers…mostly because I think the little tag is so cute. It would be such a cute little souvenir. Find out more details about making your dog a “Bark Ranger” on the NPS website:https://www.nps.gov/thingstodo/bark-ranger.htm

Dog Friendly Beaches:https://www.bringfido.com/attraction/beaches/region/united_states/

Dog Friendly Restaurants:https://www.bringfido.com/restaurant/region/united_states/

Dog Friendly Tours: https://www.bringfido.com/attraction/tours/region/united_states/?ql=on

4. Walking a lot with dogs (especially small ones)

Walking around a town or hiking with dogs is harder than you might think. When we were in Florida, my Shih Tzu mix, Ariel eventually refused to keep walking. She is not a big dog but 15lbs is still a lot to carry when you’re walking around. Even though she rested for a few days she still refused to take walks for the rest of the trip.

I am definitely getting a dog stroller for this trip. Not only do the dogs have a place to rest but I also don’t have to worry about the dogs getting all tangled up in there leashes. For hiking I will need some good harnesses so the dog’s are not choking themselves. Somehow my little devils know how to Houdini their way out of the harness. I need to go shopping and make sure I am buying the proper size.

5. Caution! 5 hiking dangers for dogs

1. Ticks

  • Check your dog/s for ticks as soon as you bring them inside the tent.
  • Make sure your dogs are protected with a flea and tick medicine
  • Bring a fine tooth comb and tweezers to find and remove ticks
  • If you will be in an area where you know there will be a lot of ticks, there is a Lyme disease vaccine that you can get for dogs

The images below are from WebMD. Visit their site for more information

2. Poisonous plants & toxic water ☠️ 🌱 🐕

Water: Don’t let dogs drink from any standing water. Standing water carries more bacteria than running water. However, if you want to be on the safe side I would let my dogs drink out of any natural water. In the city where I live (Greenville SC), the main downtown park has a beautiful river and waterfall. There are also small signs put up along the river’s edge warning that the water is dangerous and has high levels of bacteria. I still see people and animals playing in the water. No thank you…

Dangerous plants for dogs & humans

There are many plants that can injure, irritate or even kill your pet. Below are some of the most common ones to look out for:

Some helpful advice from REI about hiking with dogs and what to look out for:

Halting chewing immediately is your best defense against poison or tainted plants, as well as digestive-system problems. Watch out, too, for nettles, as well as poison oak, ivy and sumac, which will cause discomfort for both you and your dog.

Thorns and burrs are irritating, but “foxtails” are more serious. Found on a variety of grasses in spring and summer, these barbed seedpods can snag on fur and end up between toes, and in more sensitive areas like nasal passages, ears, eyes and genitals.

Avoid areas with grasses that have foxtails, and remove them with tweezers right away. Excessive sneezing, head shaking, eye discharge or an abscess are a sign that it’s time to cut things short, because foxtails can work their way into a vital organ and be fatal.

REI Expert Advice. https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/hiking-dogs.html

3. Dangers by area

Still researching specific things to be on the lookout for by region. Check back within the next couple days to see what I found out!

4. Exhaustion & Dehydration

Road Trip with Dogs

According to PetMD:

Dehydration can easily occur in the warmer months, as well as heat exhaustion (conversely, hypothermia can occur in the colder months). Watch out for excessive panting and drooling, or stumbling, confusion or disorientation. If your dog has any of these symptoms, stop immediately and take a break until she has recovered. To prevent these conditions from occurring, stop for water breaks often and slow down when she appears to be breathing heavily.  

(1) PetMD. “Hiking with your dog.” https://m.petmd.com/dog/wellness/evr_dg_hiking_with_your_dog

5. Injury

There are many potential dangers on the trail for you and your dog. A lot of the mountain regions do not have any cell signal & you could be miles from any form of help. Carrying a doggy first-aid kit could be the difference between life and death for your dog.

What to include in a dog First-Aid kit

Dog ready for a road trip
  • Gauze bandages, tape
  • Saline wash – for flushing eyes
  • Hydrogen Peroxide – for cleaning wounds and inducing vomiting if something poisonous is eaten.
  • Dish Soap – washing off poisonous residue or getting rid of fleas
  • Tweezers
  • Benadryl – in case of allergic reactions
  • Any kind of medications your dog might take
  • The number of an emergency vet in the area