Keeping two dogs happy on a road trip is no easy feat!
Being from North Dakota, the most important car lesson I learned growing up is winter travel safety. A survival kit including food, water, jumper cables, snow pants, and more is essential. With both sides of my family living a 12+ hour car ride in opposite directions, my husband and I have developed our own survival kit of sorts for when we bring the dogs for the long haul. Our survival kit helps make our dogs feel at home in the back seat of our Kia Optima, our mobile living room.
A shot from last winter’s drive home to North Dakota for the holidays. Brr!
Our doggie car trip survival kit:
- seat belt harnesses – Ours hook into the human seat belts in the car, and we can clip their leashes to the harnesses before unhooking the harness from the car. That way, there’s no risk of them jumping out of the car in a strange area.
- leashes & poo bags – The potty break essentials.
- an old sheet – To simplify car cleanup.
- a foam dog bed – The better for them to sleep!
- 1-2 favorite toys per dog – Help keep boredom at bay.
- rags – Keep snow and dirt out of the car.
- food & water bowls in the trunk – A dog’s gotta eat!
- treats in the cab of the car – For 2/3 to 3/4 through the trip when the pups really need a bit of something good to power through to the end.
- a paper cup in the cab of the car – It’s easy for dogs to get dehydrated on long road trips. My dogs will barely eat or drink among all the distractions at roadside gas stations. The paper cup in the car trick is a necessity in my humble opinion. Pro tip: If you stop for some human sustenance at a drive thru, save your cups. You can tear the top 80% off by hand and fill it with some water (or snow!). Your dogs might think it’s a fun treat and not just water.
- doggie booties (optional) – If you’ve got a dog with particularly sensitive-to-cold paws like my bearded dog Storm, you’ll want to remember to toss in dog booties. Nothing’s worse than the guilt of hearing your dog shriek in pain when ice gets in the pads of their feet.
This post is sponsored by Kia.