May 27, 2022

Smooth Ride: 7 Tips For Traveling By Car With Your Pet

A road trip is nice, but a getaway with your best friend is even better! If your BFF just so happens to have four legs and a tail, this one’s for you.

Tips For Car Travel With Pets

Getting from A to B with your pet is one thing when you’re driving around town, but longer-tail trips are another story. While it’s nothing to get overly stressed about, traveling with your dog or cat does call for some prep.

From health and safety to creature comforts, these tips will put your drive on cruise control.

#1: Coordinate With Your Vet

Involving your vet may not be necessary for every situation, but it’s worth considering anytime you travel. Kind of like getting your tires checked and fluids topped off! And like that pre-trip check-in with your mechanic, a call or visit to your vet can help you avoid headaches when you’re on your adventure.

For example…

  • If your pet is taking medications, you might need a refill to get you through the trip.
  • Worried about your dog’s motion sickness? Your vet can prescribe or recommend a remedy.
  • Depending on where you’re going, your vet might recommend a vaccine to keep your pet safe and healthy. It might also be time for a booster!
  • Is your pet microchipped? If not, this is a great time to get that taken care of — or to update the contact information associated with the chip so shelters and vets can contact you in the event your pet is lost and found.
  • Finally, it’s a good idea to get a copy of your pet’s vaccination records. Some dog parks, animal daycare centers, and establishments require that your pet be vaccinated.

#2: Plan For Potty Breaks

Max and Milo can’t tell you when they need the next rest stop — and we’re assuming you can’t read their minds.

And just because your pet only goes a few times a day at home doesn’t mean the same will be true when its little systems are getting rattled around in the car.

These facts combined can make for a very messy (and smelly) disaster.

That’s why it’s best to err on the side of extreme caution when it comes to bathroom breaks and take lots of them! This will add some time to your trip, but we’re betting it’s not as much time as it would take to vacuum, mop-up, and de-stink your car….

Plus, taking breaks to stretch your legs is good for both of you!

#3: Feed Your Pet Well In Advance

Dogs and cats are just as prone to car sickness as people, so traveling with a full tummy is a no-go. Plan to feed your pet a full meal at least two hours before traveling.

If you’re going to be on the road for several hours, bring some treats to tide them over.

#4: Keep Water Available

Unlike food, you do want to keep the hydration coming for your pet. Its usual water bowl probably won’t cut it, so you’ll need to get creative.

Luckily, you can find travel water bowls for dogs and cats that prevent spillage when your vehicle is in motion at pet stores and online. They can be tucked into your pet’s crate or corner of the car for easy access.

Another option is to pour your pet a fresh bowl when you take a rest stop. If you go this route, make sure you bring plenty of water for all those refills.

#5: Pack The Essentials & Extras

How much does a pet need for a vacation? Food, water, treats. And don’t forget their favorite toy, meds, backup leash, and poop bags. Oh, and their raincoat and a towel in case of wet weather.

As you can see, your furry friend might need its own duffel bag to be fully prepared for your getaway. Make a list and double-check it so your pet doesn’t have to ruff it!

#6: Give Them A Safe & Cozy Corner

Seat belts weren’t designed for pets, but there are many products that can keep your precious cargo safe — like travel crates and pet barriers for cars. Spend some time setting up a space that keeps your pet contained with enough wiggle room for comfort.

Bringing along some familiar items can also help it feel more at ease. Try tucking your pet’s bed or blanket into its crate, and bring some of its toys along for entertainment.

#7: Curb Anxiety With Pet CBD

Nothing slams the breaks on your travel plans like a pet in distress. If your pet gets over-excited or shows signs of anxiety in the car, you might consider giving it a dose of CBD oil for pets before you travel.

Research shows that CBD oil may reduce anxiety.(1) To reap these benefits, use a high-quality CBD oil designed specifically for pets. (And why not throw in a calming CBD treat for yourself while you’re at it?)

CBD oil drops can easily be added to food or water, so you could include it in your pet’s pre-trip meal several hours in advance, giving it some time to take effect before the frenzy of leaving. Pure Craft’s flavorless pet CBD drops can also be added to your pet’s water bowl for an extra drop of calm while you’re on the road.

If you and your pet are new to CBD, check out these species-specific guides:

  • CBD For Dogs: A Guide For Humans
  • Giving Your Cat CBD: A Guide For Humans

Bonus: Best Practices For Pets In Cars

As a pet owner, you can probably recite the following rules in your sleep. But just in case there are any new pet parents in the house…

  • Never leave your pet unattended in a hot car. It’s a recipe for heat exhaustion and even death.
  • Keep all body parts inside the vehicle when you’re on the freeway. Debris can damage their eyes or cause an injury at high speeds.
  • Contain your pet for safety. (See tip #6.)

Get it? Got it. Good!

Have Pet, Will Travel

Driving with your pet can be stressful. But with some preparation, it can be enjoyable for both of you.

With a containment plan, vet communication, pre-trip checklist, and a little help from pet CBD oil — you and your companion will be ready to hit the road, Jack!



  1. Cherney, K. (2020). Using CBD Oil for Anxiety: Does It Work? Healthline.

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