Tips on How to Travel with Pets by Car

You might have seen pet dogs and cats sticking their tongue out or enjoying a wind blast from the car window. You might be worried about their well-being and safety while having fun and excitement intact this car ride. Also, some pets are excited while some are resistant.

Tips on How to Travel with Pets by Car

If you are a pet lover and you want your cat or dog to accompany you on your trip/ride, then following some tips will help you to make the most of your car travel. In this article, ten tips are provided that will help you and your pet to accommodate the journey in peace and comfort.

Things to be carried

Always have a checklist of what is to be carried. While heading to travel by car, ensure they are taken along without fail.

The main things to carry are:

  • Dog/Cat collar with its name tag on its neck at all times.
  • Important documents associated when traveling in a car on a highway. Take your pet to the vet. Ensure your dog/cat's health before heading for travel. Get a rabies vaccine for your dog and a medical certificate of wellness before heading for long trips. Don't forget to consider pet insurance to cover any unexpected health issues during your travels.
  • Harness/leash set to its collar. 
  • Food and water supply within the car for your dog/cat. Its regular bowl is preferable.
  • Dog/cat pet grooming kit (brush, nail clippers, etc.) for maintaining pet cleanliness.
  • A pet toy to keep it busy during the trip.
  • Emergency first aid kit
  • Pet's bedding to give a comfort zone.

Pet restraint for safety:

Take them in a car with a safety restraint. Pet barriers/restraints keep your cat/dog safe in the rear seat without any hassles.

Carriers for cats

Carriers secure and confine your cat. They come in different materials, shapes, and sizes. They are durable, secure, comfortable, well-ventilated. Most have a latch and a safe door.

Choose carriers that provide them ample space and are lined with good cushioning to keep them comfortable during travel. Ensure this carrier is also restrained to safety within the car. No one wants to injure the pet or other members in the car.

Restraining harness for dogs

Unlike cats, pet dogs can be restrained with a special harness that connects dogs to car safety belts. This way they do not get knocked out due to a sudden impact or car brake. It provides ample moving space without getting loose. To get them out simply snap the dog leash. It is preferable to snap the leash once you have a good grasp on the leash.

Things to keep in mind:

Dealing with car sick pets

Some pets are not very happy getting a ride. They often get car sick. For such pets, it is preferred to give them a very light meal just heading out.

Feed less and give water in minimal quantities during and before the journey. Accommodate such a cat/dog gradually by taking it to smaller drives with larger praises.

Keep them away from windows

Pets, especially dogs get excited to pop their heads off the car window to have a wind gush over their face or smell the air. But dust and debris on the road can be harmful to dog's eyes, windpipes, and nostrils.

Cold air can make them ill forcing cold air within their lungs. Some even step on the window control and get caught in it. So, restrain them while keeping fun intact.

Keep the car temperature suitable

Your cat or dog is unable to express itself with temperatures being cold or hot within the car. If it's cold, your pet requires a blanket as you need a jacket.

In a warm climate, it also needs a gush of air or AC to feel comfortable. Do not dehydrate or overheat it. It is recommended not to leave the pet in the car alone during summer as the internal temperature increases rapidly.

Frequent breaks

Your pet cat or dog needs a little stretching in frequent intervals as you sit and travel in a car. Pets would require two times more. It also needs potty breaks, water, and exercise equally.

Take a break and let it stretch and walk a little before heading back to your car. You can enjoy the views and enjoy the travel while your pet enjoys the breeze, little stretching, and have fun.

Avoid choking hazards and toxic food for your pets

Always ensure there are no antifreeze spills, not even minute quantities. They are very harmful to cats and dogs. Snacking in your car, do not feed your pet canine toxins. These can be grapes, chocolate, raisins, or macadamia nuts. They are toxic for your pets.

Also, ensure there are no choking items within the car that can be hazardous to your pets. They can be like bones, pennies, small toys, and socks. Avoid furry seat covers, dust, and other factors that can be harmful to your pets.

Kids and pets should get along

Kids getting intolerant and bugging your pet can cost your travel. It is best to lay down some ground rules for both kids and pets along with rewards for being good.

Your kid making your pet angry can result in chaos making your travel even more challenging. If kids and pets can get along with each other, the excitement is doubled.


Get your accommodations ensured to be pet friendly. If not, you may end up paying to get a pet-friendly room or shift to another hotel.

Keep your pet accommodated while arriving at a new place so that it does not become either hyperactive or depressed. Keep its regular usage blankets, bowls, and toys close to it to provide a comfort zone.


All of us look for family travel, now and then, including our pets. Though as exciting it may seem, it is equally challenging and taken with caution when traveling in a car. Car travel ought to be fun and exciting for your pet as for you for a friendly and comfortable journey.

Following the above tips will keep your cat/dog at ease enjoying the journey and the destination equally. Have a fun-filled and safe trip without any hassles with few precautions and guidelines.