Image Alt

Albuquerque VetCo

 / dogs  / Road Tripping with your Dog: How To
Dog left in car, new mexico

Road Tripping with your Dog: How To

Dog left in car, new mexico

Jack Russell Terrier Dog Enjoying a Car Ride.

Spring Break is right around the corner for Albuquerque students and your family might be considering a road trip. There is no reason your road trip can’t include your dog. But taking a road trip isn’t as easy as piling in the car and hitting Route 66. There are some things you need to do to prepare and some things you should be aware of to make the drive more comfortable for your pup and for you.

The best tip is to make sure your dog has their Bordatella Vaccine. Kennel cough is incredibly contagious and will make your dog very sick. For this shot to be effective you need to get it at least 10 days in advance. Make sure to include vaccines in your trip planning. Thankfully, Veto makes vaccines easy. You can come to our walk in shot clinic and get ready for your trip!

Loving the car!

If you dog is scared or anxious in the car then having a relaxing road trip will be hard. You want to teach your dog to love the car. The easiest way to do this is to make the car fun. Have them sit in the car and give them love and treats. Take them on short trips to fun places like that park. Practice having them jump in and out of the car and give them lots of positive reinforcement. The most important part is that you practice practice practice! The more you do it, the more positive reinforcement they give, the more they will like being in the car with you. You don’t want them to think that they only place they go is the vet, even though we know the Vetco is a pretty great vet clinic to visit!

If your dog is still reluctant, try putting their favorite toy or blanket in the car and just sit with them in the car with their favorite things until they relax.

Be Comfortable

Reducing stress is an important part of enjoying the car. First off, you don’t want your dog to get carsick or feel sick in the car. That is not a good association with driving. Tip #1, do not feed them for 2 hours before the drive to help avoid nausea.  Give them a blanket, or even their favorite blanket, to sit with. Make sure they are properly secured with a harness. This might mean that you need to get them use to the harness before they ever go in the car.

Bring travel water with you. Dogs can heat up really quickly. If you notice a lot of panting it could be because they are overheating or they are having anxiety. Try turning on the air conditioning or open a window, but don’t let them hang their head out the window that can damage their ears. If anxiety is an issue, try giving them Rescue Remedy or put lavender oil on their collar.


Adjust Your Timeframe

When you travel with a dog, expect that it will take longer. Dogs need regular stops to go to the bathroom, drink water, and run around. A good timeline is planning a stop every 2-3 hours. The great thing about regular stops is it gives you and your family a chance for extra adventure!

Pack a Puppy Suitcase

Dogs need stuff when they travel. Make sure you have a good checklist to cover all the bases. We suggest:

  • Medication
  • Vaccination records
  • Dog first aid kit
  • Extra leash and collar
  • ID tag
  • A crate
  • Bowls
  • 2-3 days worth of food
  • Extra water
  • Emergency contact information

Its a good idea to know where the vets are along your travels, so if something comes up you already know who you can call.


Stop Planning

We don’t mean stop planning. We mean to plan stops. Not all stops are dog friendly and you never want to leave your dog in the car. Do some research and find places that are dog friendly to stay, as well as dog parks, and pet friendly restaurants. You might think that all parks allow dogs but not all National Parks allow dogs, or they greatly limit where they can go.


Having fun is the best tip! Your dog will love all the new smells, sounds, and sights! They may not be as well behaved as usual, due to excitement, but kids are typically the same hahaha. Enjoy the experience of traveling with your dog. The more prepared you are the easier it will be to enjoy. Be prepared and have a great trip!