Dog car travel – 5 important tips

Here are our top 5 tips when it comes to road tripping with your furry friend on board


Dog car travel – 5 important tips


Driving with your dog in the car is normally pretty straightforward – but what if you’re planning on driving long distance? or venturing out on a family road trip with your pooch included?

First and foremost, it’s important to know that there are certain laws and unwritten rules that apply when road tripping with your best friend in the car. Sticking to them will ensure your family and your pet are kept safe and comfortable throughout the entire journey.

Here are our top 5 tips when it comes to dog car travel:

black and white dog sitting in the back seat of a car

Plan ahead

Before you start your engines and feel the open road beneath your tyres, it’s a good idea to make sure you’ve planned ahead. Having a pooch onboard might mean you can’t be as spontaneous as you would be without, however, that doesn’t mean the fun has to stop. We just recommend being a little more meticulous when planning your road trip. That means laying out your route and locking in pet-friendly accommodation and activities along the way. Fortunately, more and more places across Australia are becoming accepting to the idea of having pets on the premises. And with NRMA Parks and Resorts offering several pet-friendly accommodation types across the majority of the properties, there’s no reason your beloved pooch should stay behind on your next family getaway.

travelling with a dog

Pack the essentials

It’s important that you’ve packed all the doggy essentials before heading out on a long road trip. Some of these items might be more specific to your furry friend, but most are a must-bring, such as water and food.

The doggy road trip essentials: 

  • Water flask
  • Water bowel
  • Poop bags
  • Leash, collars, tags and microchips (Make sure your contact details are up to date on all tags and your microchip register is recognised nationally if you’re travelling interstate.)
  • Food and snacks
  • Toys
  • Doggy treats
  • Crate and bedding
  • Towel (to put down inside of the crate, or to dry your pooch off if he or she happens to go for a quick swim at some point along your journey.)
  • Any medications your doggo might need
  • Doggy first-aid kit (Things like tweezers to remove ticks or splinters, toenail clippers, wipes, bandages, etc.)
small white dog looking out car window

Secure your pet

The Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) advises that a fine can be issued and demerit points can be lost if an animal is causing the driver to be not in full control of the vehicle, or if they are driving with a dog on their lap. And while it isn’t exactly illegal to not use safety harness or seatbelt for you pooch, it is highly recommended.

A crate is another great idea to secure your dog, especially if he or she is prone to a little car anxiety, a crate can help your pooch feel safe and secure and will avoid a mid-road trip meltdown.

Dog inside crate

Take frequent rest stops

Unlike humans, dogs can’t tell you what they need and when they need it (unless your pooch is super trained at communicating) So a good rule of thumb is to stop at least every 2 hours and let your dog stretch their legs, have a snack and some water and take a bathroom break.

golden dog running along dirt track

Consider pet insurance

If you love driving and road tripping with your favourite four-legged friend, whether around town or cross country, it’s important to know your family and your pet will be taken care of should an accident or breakdown occur. With Pet Plus, the whole family can hit the road – with perfect peace of mind.

Because no dog should be left behind

NRMA Parks and Resorts offer a number of pet-friendly sites and cabins across select properties. Book your next pet friendly getaway today.

Book now