Road Trip Checklist – Pet Edition

School is out and now it’s time to start preparing for summer vacations and road trips. If you’re bringing your family pet along for the ride, you already know it’s going to require a little extra preparation in your pre-packing/planning endeavors. Here are twelve items you should consider taking on your next pet-friendly road trip:

Seat Belt/Restraint

Safety should always come first, whether it’s a trip to the park or a weekend getaway. Strapping or buckling your dog into a secured spot in the car ensures they won’t hurt themselves walking around or trying to jump out of windows.

Collapsible bowls

These are a good idea to keep in your car year-round, especially if you live in the desert like I do. Here are two examples, but if all else fails you can always use Styrofoam options.


You’re going to need a leash, no matter where you go. In Las Vegas, hotels that allow pets require them to be on leash at all times, and besides that – it’s the law. If you’re planning on doing a lot of hiking/exploring on your trip, you might want to take along a supplemental leash, one that’s more geared toward activities, like this one or this one.


This is optional, but there are times when a harness will serve you better than simply using a collar. If you’ve never put a harness on your dog, I recommend taking them into a store and trying one on so you have an idea of what size to get.

Collars/ID tags

This is a given no matter where you go, but your dog should always have a collar and ID tag on at all times. When you’re staying in a hotel like the Cosmopolitan, they’ll want you to have name tags for your pets’ items as well.

Shot records

Also a necessity when traveling, in case of any incidents or emergencies. Some hotels will want to keep a copy on file during your stay, so it will make things easier on you if you come with it ahead of time.


In addition to any prescribed medicine, I would also suggest bringing along some kind of calming aid. Calming aids are great for the long stretches when you can’t stop for a break and is easier


Bringing along a travel kennel not only gives you the means to secure your dog in the back seat but also gives you a place to put them while you need to be away from your hotel room. Some hotels will rent kennels to you if you don’t bring one, but if you can, it will save you time, money & headaches.

Hiking Boots

You’ll need these if you’re trekking through any rocky terrain, and your pet isn’t used to such rough walking conditions. You can get them from any local pet store, Amazon, or Chewy.

Waste Bags/Cleaning Products

You don’t have to buy bags specifically for this if you’ve got plastic grocery bags lying around those will work. But bring plenty of them with you, as well as disinfectant wipes, paper towels, and regular towels to clean up after any accidents that may happen in the car or in the hotel.


Road trips are long. Break them up with treat stops!

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