I love a good road trip and road trips with dogs are even better. Actually, I don’t. I’m more of a flier than a car rider. We first got our puppy, Tucker, last Christmas. He was a rescue pup and has been a fun addition to our family. In my head, I thought he would stay little forever. That’s probably why I underestimated his growth and thought he would fit nicely under an airplane seat when we moved from Texas to Virginia over the summer. Wrong. Ruh roh, Scooby. We were going on a road trip with a dog! It was time to make my packing list.
Five kids, a husband, and a dog in a minivan for days. It was laughable. So maybe I cried for a second, too. Not to mention a whole lot of stuff. I didn’t know what to expect, but surprisingly, Tucker was the best behaved. He was very chill, but his breath was awful!
The Texas heat made it worse. If you’ve ever driven through Texas, you know it basically goes on forever. With many potty stops (including girls and dog), 3 nights at different hotels, and over 1300 miles driven, we made it to Virginia!
I didn’t hate the road trip, and it was actually really fun. More importantly, I’m now a master packer for road trips with dogs, and Tucker has joined us on several day trips since then.
Packing List for Road Trips With Dogs
Here’s what served us well!
- Collar and Leash
- Dog Food
- Pet Carrier/Dog Bed
- PEDIGREE® DENTASTIX™ Treats
- Favorite Toy
- Food and Water Bowls
- Poop Bags
- Pet Stain Remover Spray (just in case of an accident or vomit)
- Extra Towel
Dogs are most safe when traveling in a dog carrier. However Tucker is not a big fan, so we wanted to make him as most comfortable as possible since it was such a long drive. He slept in his bed most of the time or on someone’s lap. We brought what was familiar to Tucker, so he was more relaxed.
At rest stops we would pull out the bowls, feed him and pour water into the bowl so he could drink. We would also walk him at the same time. Luckily we could time everyone’s potty breaks at the same time.
To combat Tucker’s smelly breath, we gave him Dentastix. Tucker loves the taste, and it’s so much easier than trying to brush his teeth every day. “Fur real,” says Tucker. Or maybe he just said woof.
Now Tucker’s a road tripping pooch. He loves the car, and the kids love to be close instead of plugging their noses. A clean mouth and fresh breath mean lots of kisses in close quarters.
We have some epic memories from our cross country trip. We made it! From finding pet-friendly hotels, to bad breath jokes, to potty adventures, to putting Tucker in a stroller so he could visit Luray Caverns with the family, he has a lot memories to share with his dog friends. And we have priceless memories road tripping with our fur baby.