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A Guide to Dog-Friendly Road Trips

Hitting the road with your dog adds a bit more planning to your trip, but when done right, the quality time spent with your furry companion is well worth it.

Whether you're an old pro at pet travel or this will be your first trip with your dog, it's always a good idea to brush up on pet travel tips. This way, you can ensure you and your dog have the best time possible on your adventure.

To help you bring along your best friend on your next road trip, we've put together this list of helpful tips for traveling with dogs. Along with our own dog travel experience, we also caught up with dog photographer Molly Dombroski to get the expert advice she's learned from traveling around the country with her two pups, Summit and Mylo.

These are the 5 best tips to make sure you get the most out of your dog-filled travel.

1. Air Conditioning is a Must

The golden rule of pet travel is never leave pets in a hot car and this is especially important when you're on a road trip. Especially in warm temperatures, a car can heat up to dangerous conditions in just a few minutes. So when it's hot out, you never want to leave your pup in the car — even if the windows are cracked.

If you do plan to travel with your dog in the summer, make sure to check the weather and be on the lookout for swimming holes for your pooch to cool off in. Molly books a hotel room once the weather gets too hot for her dogs to handle.

Alternatively, you could opt to rent a van or RV with air conditioning or fans that run separately from the car. This way, you can keep those running overnight or when you're not driving. Outdoorsy offers RV, camper van, and trailer rentals so you can browse different options and find a pet-friendly van with AC. Whether you go with a Sprinter or a Vintage Volkswagen, you can drive straight to your destination and wake up with picturesque views.

2. Keep Your Dog Entertained with Toys and Mental Stimulation

Spending long hours in the car can get boring for anyone, and your dog is no different. To help your dogs from getting antsy on long road trips, pack lots of fun toys, chews, and bones to keep them entertained on the journey.

"For me,” says Molly, “this usually means I pack some Benebones and good chews for the dogs. The dogs absolutely love these and will keep at it for hours on end.”

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3. Keep Your Pet Safe in a Kennel 

Ideally, you won't get in an accident, but sometimes the unexpected happens. In that situation, the worst thing for your pets is for them to be loose in the car. Airbags, loose gear, and other vehicles are hazards for your dog in an accident.

To keep your dog safe just in case, it's a good idea to have an impact-resistant kennel for Fido. One option we recommend is the G1 Kennel from Gunner Kennels which is crash tested to keep your animal safe. Plus, you can deck the inside out with comfy bedding so it becomes a safe spot (both physically and mentally) for your dog in the car.

4. Bring Food and Treats

Just like you need your road trip snacks, so does your dog! Since dog food can take up quite a bit of space in a car, Molly tries to pack just enough for her dogs to make it from one stop to the next to save space. "Treats can also take up a lot of space so I pack these into plastic baggies and try to get as much air out of those bags as possible," she said.

Molly also recommends using dog food travel bags from WilderDog or Ruffwear to keep the food fresh and make food storage on the road easy. Once you have these different bags of food, organize everything into one duffle or other type of back so you can keep track of everything.

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5. Fill up their Bowl

Make sure you bring plenty of water for your dog and a dog bowl so you can give your pup water when they need it on the road. Hydration on the road is important to keep your dogs healthy and happy in the car (even if it means a few more pee breaks). If your dog is panting, that's a good sign to get them some water!

Molly always has a water bottle for her pups and keeps a collapsible dog bowl in the front at all times for quick hydration. Just be careful not to let your dog drink too much too quickly, as this can lead to throwing up. Seriously, the last thing you want is dog vomit in your vehicle!

Now that you know some of the basics for road travel with pets, it's time to go have some fun! Grab the dog toys, dog food, water, carrier/crate, and RexSpecs and go have some adventures with your dog. (And tag us on Instagram from the road!)

 

Words by Johanna Flashman

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2 comments

  • Adventure, Pet, Work, BEST FREIND

    Melinda
  • Hi everyone, do you carry xlarge harnesses for newfoundland dogs. I have 2 and cannot find harnesses to fit them. Thankyou for your time.

    A

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Gear For your Dog

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Lens Guide

Lens

UV Rating

VLT*

Durability

Recommended Use

Red Mirror

Blocks 99% of UVA and UVB Rays.

Allows 20% of light to pass. Very similar to sunglasses.

Impact Resistant. Mirrored lenses show more scratches than clear or smoke.

Giddy up! The Red Mirror lens is great for most dogs and is very similar to the smoke lens with a bit more style.

Clear

Blocks 99% of UVA and UVB

Allows 92% of light to pass

Impact Resistant. Offers best visibility when scratched.

For Everything except protection from brightness. Great for working, hunting or adventure dogs. Blocks UV is impact resistant and often is preferred by dogs. Great training lens, and when it gets scratched the scratches are not as visible to the dog as with other lens options.

Blue Mirror

Blocks 99% of UVA and UVB

Allows 15% of light to pass. Slightly darker than smoke and red mirror.

Impact Resistant. Mirrored lenses show more scratches than clear or smoke

DM's are rolling in! The Blue Mirror lens adds a touch of flare and is one of our darker lenses for dogs who have sensitivity to light. Perfect for use in sunny areas and for those who love that blue mirror look.

Silver Mirror

Blocks 99% of UVA and UVB

Allows 13% of light to pass. Our darkest lens.

Impact Resistant. Mirrored lenses show more scratches than clear or smoke.

STYLE! Add some flavor to the daily grind with our darkest lens, allowing only 13% of visual light to pass through, making it the best option if your dog has light sensitivity.

Smoke

Blocks 99% of UVA and UVB

Allows 20% of light to pass. Very similar to sunglasses.

Impact Resistant. Offers excellent visibility when scratched.

For everything! Overall the most versatile lens. Great for dogs that are rough on their equipment as it continues to offer good visibility when scratched.F

Green Mirror

Blocks 99% of UVA and UVB

Allows 15% of light to pass. Slightly darker than smoke and red mirror.

Impact Resistant. Mirrored lenses show more scratches than clear or smoke.

The Green Mirror lens adds a touch of flare and is one of our darker lenses for dogs that need some reprieve from the suns brightness.

*VLT = Visual Light Transmission

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Rex Specs

measure your dog in two steps

  1. muzzle circumference

    Measure the circumference of your dog's muzzle where you expect the goggle to land on their nose - usually around the back of their mouth.

  2. head circumference

    Measure the head circumference where you expect the goggle to land on the forehead - typically an inch or so behind the eyes.

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Goggle Size Head Circumference Muzzle Circumference
X-Small Less than 10.5 in Less than 6 in SHOP X-Small
Small 10.5 in - 12 in 6 in - 8 in SHOP Small
Medium 12 in - 14 in 8 in - 9in SHOP Medium
Large 14 in - 17.5 in 9 in - 11.5 in SHOP Large
X-Large Greater than 17.5 in Greater than 11.5 in SHOP X-Large
Small Wide* 12 in - 15 in 6 in - 9 in SHOP Small Wide

*Designed for dogs with a wide, flat face i.e. Boston Terriers
If your dog is between sizes, select the larger size: This will insure the most functional fit and optimal field of view.

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EAR PRO SIZE GUIDE

Measure the circumference of your dog's head at it's largest point (just in front of the ears and under the chin). If you are between sizes, please go up in size.

SIZE

HEAD MEASUREMENT

2 13" - 15" SHOP Size 2
3 15" - 17.5" SHOP Size 3
4 17.5" - 21" SHOP Size 4
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CRUX & TRAILHEAD COLLAR SIZE GUIDE

Measure around the dog's neck as loose or tight as you would like the collar to fit.

SIZE

NECK MEASUREMENT

1 12"-14" SHOP Size 1
2 14"-16.5" SHOP Size 2
3 16.5"-19.5" SHOP Size 3
4 19.5"-24" SHOP Size 4

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