10 Essential Tips for Traveling with Your Dog This Summer

dog in a suitcase

Unlock Expert Hacks for a Stress-Free, Pawsome Vacation!

Planning a summer getaway with your furry friend? Traveling with your dog can be an incredibly rewarding experience, but it requires some special considerations to ensure both you and your pet have a safe and enjoyable trip.

From pre-trip preparations to on-the-go essentials, these 10 essential tips will help you unlock the secrets to a hassle-free, fun-filled adventure with your canine companion. Get ready to make unforgettable memories together!

plan ahead

1. Plan Ahead

Research and book pet-friendly accommodations and destinations in advance. Many hotels, parks, and attractions cater to pets, but it's essential to confirm their policies and availability. Look for pet-friendly hotels that offer amenities such as pet beds, special treats, and designated play areas.

Planning ahead prevents last-minute stress and ensures that your dog will be welcome wherever you go. Knowing your options helps create a more enjoyable travel experience for you and your furry friend, allowing you to relax and enjoy your vacation.

Stay hydrated

2. Stay Hydrated

Hydration is crucial in hot summer days. Always carry plenty of fresh water and a portable water bowl. Offer water to your dog regularly, even if they don't seem thirsty. Dehydration can happen quickly, and signs include excessive panting, dry gums, and lethargy.

Plan for frequent water breaks, particularly if you're traveling by car. Stop every couple of hours to let your dog drink and stretch their legs. Remember, keeping your dog hydrated helps regulate their body temperature, ensuring they stay cool and comfortable.

keep cool

3. Keep Cool

Avoid traveling during the peak heat of the day to prevent overheating. Early morning or late evening travel is ideal. If you're driving, use sunshades on the windows and consider a cooling mat or vest for your dog. These products can help maintain a lower body temperature.

Never leave your dog in a parked car, even for a few minutes. Cars can heat up rapidly, leading to potentially fatal heatstroke. Ensure your dog has a shaded spot to rest, whether you're at a park or a rest stop, to avoid direct sunlight.

sightseeing with your dog

4. Sightseeing with Your Dog

When sightseeing, always consider your dog's comfort and safety. Avoid crowded places where your dog might feel anxious. Instead, seek out pet-friendly attractions and parks where your dog can enjoy the sights and smells.

Some attractions aren't accessible for dogs, like museums. Don't leave your dog in a car, nor is leaving your dog on the leash outside to wait, very advisable. It's not the same as leaving them to wait outside your local grocery store. This place is unfamiliar, usually crowded and would leave your dog in grat stress. You might have to skip this places altogether.

Carry essentials like water, a portable bowl, poop bags, and a leash. Keep your dog close to prevent them from getting lost or overwhelmed. Sightseeing can be a fun adventure for your dog if done thoughtfully.

two dogs peeping through the side car window

5. Traveling by Car

When traveling by car, there are several key considerations to ensure your dog's safety and comfort.

Proper Restraint

Use a dog seatbelt harness or a secured crate to keep your dog safe. Unrestrained pets can be dangerous in the event of an accident and are at risk of injury. It is also punishable by law in some European countries. If you use a car crate, let it be secured in safe space.

Avoid Leaving Your Dog in the Car

Avoid leaving your dog alone in the car, as temperatures can rise quickly, leading to heatstroke. Even on mild days, a car can become dangerously hot in just a few minutes.

comfortable dog crate

Comfortable Carrier and air ventialation

A comfortable, well-ventilated carrier is essential for safe travel. The carrier should be large enough for your dog to stand, turn around, and lie down. Acclimate your dog to the carrier before the trip to reduce anxiety. When packing your car, make sure other stuff isn't blocking proper crate ventilation. Considering not all cars have car ventilation in the trunk!

Regular Breaks

Plan for regular breaks during your journey. Let your dog stretch, relieve itself, and stay hydrated. Stop every couple of hours at pet-friendly rest stops where your dog can walk and play.

protection agains parasites

6. Protect Against Parasites

Summer travel often means spending more time outdoors, increasing your dog's exposure to parasites like fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes. Ensure your dog is on a regular parasite prevention regimen, including flea and tick treatments and heartworm prevention.

Check your dog for ticks after outdoor activities, especially if you've been in wooded or grassy areas. Carry a tick removal tool in your first aid kit. Keeping your dog protected against parasites helps prevent illnesses and ensures a more enjoyable trip. Brushing everyday helps to prevent parasites and is a great bonding time.

dog on the lake paw

7. Protect Paws

Hot pavement can cause painful burns to your dog's paws. Test the ground with the back of your hand; if it's too hot for you, it's too hot for your dog. Walk your dog on grass or shaded paths whenever possible and avoid the hot parts of the day to go outside.

Discover the Secret to Happy Paws: DIY Paw Balm Recipe

Consider using protective booties to shield your dog's paws from hot surfaces. These booties can also provide extra traction and prevent injuries from sharp objects. Keeping your dog's paws safe ensures they can enjoy their trip without discomfort.

no dogs on the beach

8. Beach Safety

If you're heading to the seaside, research pet-friendly beaches in advance. Not all beaches allow dogs, and some have specific hours or leash requirements. Bring fresh water for your dog to drink, seek shade or bring it with you.

Keep an eye on your dog while they play in the sand and water. Try to avoid playing water games, like fetch, to avoid drinking too much salty water and salt poisoning which can result in diarrhea and swelling of the brains.

Rinse off any salt or sand from their coat after a beach visit to prevent skin irritation. Ensuring your dog's safety at the beach allows for a fun and stress-free seaside adventure.

first-aid kit for dogs

9. First Aid Kit

A pet-specific first aid kit is a travel essential. Include items like bandages, antiseptic wipes, tweezers, and any medications your dog may need. Familiarize yourself with basic first aid procedures for pets.

Dog on the airport holding airplane tickets

10. Travel Documents

Ensure you have all necessary travel documents for your dog, including vaccination records, health certificates, and any required permits. These documents are essential for crossing borders and staying in certain accommodations.

Check the specific requirements of your destination and have copies of all important documents readily accessible. Having the proper paperwork ensures smooth travel and helps avoid any legal issues.

dog sitter with three dogs on the walk

Extra Tip: Consider Alternative Care Options

If the thought of traveling with your dog seems overwhelming or if the risks and stress involved are too great for both of you, it might be best to leave your furry friend in good hands. Consider pet hotels or hiring a reliable pet sitter to care for your dog while you're away.

Pet hotels offer a range of amenities to keep your dog comfortable and entertained, often including play areas, socialization with other dogs, and attentive staff. Pet sitters provide personalized care, allowing your dog to stay in the familiar surroundings of your home. However, these services are in high demand, especially during peak travel seasons. To ensure availability, make reservations well in advance-sometimes as early as six months ahead.

Choosing a trusted and well-reviewed pet hotel or sitter can give you peace of mind, knowing your dog is safe and happy while you enjoy your vacation. This way, both you and your pet can have a stress-free and enjoyable experience.

wall tag for pet friendly hotel


Traveling with your dog can be an incredibly rewarding experience, but it requires careful planning and consideration. By following these 10 essential tips, you can ensure that your summer adventure is safe, enjoyable, and stress-free for both you and your furry friend. Remember to plan ahead, stay hydrated, and keep cool during your travels. Whether you're sightseeing, traveling by car, or enjoying the beach, always prioritize your dog's comfort and safety.

Additionally, make sure to protect against parasites and paw injuries, and have a pet-specific first aid kit and all necessary travel documents ready. If the challenges of traveling with your dog seem too daunting, consider alternative care options like pet hotels or pet sitters. With these expert hacks, you're well on your way to creating unforgettable memories with your canine companion this summer. Happy travels!